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Vietnamese Currency Spotlight: Vietnamese dong

In Business and Currency by Continental StaffLeave a Comment

In this Spotlight we’ll focus on the currency in use since Vietnam was unified between the north and the south. Whether you need to buy Vietnamese đồng or are just curious in learning a few things – read on!

Fast Facts: Vietnamese dong

  • Vietnamese dong Symbol:
  • Vietnam Currency Code: VND
  • Subunits: 1/10 = hào, 1/100 = xu (both unused)
  • Coins: 200₫, 500₫, 1000₫, 2000₫, 5000₫ (unused)
  • Banknotes: 100₫, 200₫, 500₫, 1,000₫, 2,000₫, 5,000₫, 10,000₫, 20,000₫, 50,000₫, 100,000₫, 200,000₫, 500,000₫
  • Vietnamese GDP (nominal): US$204.539 billion
  • Central Bank: State Bank of Vietnam

History

Following the end of WWII, both North and South Vietnam set about creating their own currencies to replace the French Indochinese piastre. The North’s was introduced in 1946 while the South issued their notes in 1953. These were aptly named the North Vietnamese đồng and the South Vietnamese đồng respectively.

Following the North’s victory in the 70’s, the South Vietnamese đồng was briefly replaced by the liberation đồng until the country was unified under one currency in 1978. A revaluation was undertaken in 1985 with 1 new đồng equal to 10 old đồng.

Notes and Coins

The most recent set of đồng coins were minted in 2003. They all feature the country’s coat of arms and a variety of designs on the reverse. These can include simply the denominations or more complex landmarks such as the One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi.

New polymer banknotes were also issued in 2003 (though some weren’t released until later), with all notes differentiated by colour. The obverse of every note features a portrait of Ho Chi Minh – the communist revolutionary and North’s leader. The reverse features landmarks or symbols of significance to Vietnam which range from Ha Long Bay to a covered bridge in the historic city of Hoi An.

Value

Following the revaluation of the đồng in 1985, the next decade or so was characterized by rampant inflation. While the mid 2000’s saw the đồng staying steady at the (admittedly large) sum of about 16,000 to 1 US dollar, this didn’t last either. Since 2008, the đồng has largely fallen against the dollar, sometimes to an alarming degree. Since 2011, the value has fallen to a point where it is always at least 20,000 đồng to 1 dollar.

1 USD is currently (12:30PM, Dec 11 2015) valued at 22481.2002 VND

1 CAD is currently (12:30PM, Dec 11 2015) valued at 16409.3420 VND

Need to buy Vietnamese đồng? Find your nearest branch HERE!

Economy

While Vietnam struggled greatly both during and after the war, the country has since recovered thanks to far reaching economic reforms (known as Đổi Mới) initiated in 1986. The goal was to push the economy closer to a more market based system, while retaining socialist roots. Vietnam has seen sustained growth since the reforms were enacted while also constantly becoming more ingratiated in the globalized economy. That being said there has been stunted growth in recent years, which is a cause for concern to some observers.

Agriculture remains a major facet of the economy, as does fishing and forestry. In the energy sector, petroleum is the main source. The country has ample resources and crude oil remains the country’s biggest export. Beyond these, manufacturing makes up a large proportion of the country’s GDP while the services industry (particularly tourism) is growing.

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Final Thoughts

While the massive inflation of the đồng is somewhat worrying, Vietnam has seen its fortunes rise since the economic reforms of the 80’s. Questions remain, however the country looks well-poised going into the future.

Whether you need to buy Vietnamese đồng or any other of over 160 different currencies, we’ve got you covered!

For a broader understanding of Vietnamese history and culture check out our Country of the Week profile. For information about traveling to Vietnam then be sure to follow our Travel Guide.

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