GIP RECLUS, Montpellier, with LASEMA, CNRS UPR 297, Paris, and
Centre of Socio-economic Geography, National Centre for the Social Sciences and Humanities in Hanoi.
to produce a socio-economic atlas of Vietnam in 1989 at the scale of the provinces based on computer-assisted mapping, showing the degree of integration of the country since reunification in 1975 and the situation of the Centre region at a time when the leadership of the northern and southern capitals is increasing; showing also the spatial structures and trends of the three main regions following the economic reform of 1986;
to give the researchers of the Centre of Socio-economic Geography an opportunity to train in computer-assisted mapping and provide the CSEG with automatic mapping equipment in order to facilitate subsequent updating and enable the Centre to become self-sufficient in terms of the funding of research, following the example of RECLUS in Montpellier.
Professor Vu Tu Lap is the former Director of the Centre of Socio-economic Geography of the Vietnamese National Centre for the Social Sciences in Hanoi;
Christian Taillard is a senior researcher with CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and co-director of LASEMA (Laboratoire Asie du Sud-Est et Monde Austronésien) in Paris.
Year of reference
The main reference chosen for the atlas is 1989 - the year of the latest census - although more references are taken into account: 1979, the year of the penultimate census, provides a comparison in terms of population dynamics; 1981, in terms of the dynamics of the social sector; in economic terms, 1987 gives a good idea of the state of affairs at the time of the 6th Communist Party Congress (which took place in December 1986). The first results of the reform can be examined over the period 1987-89 following the liberalisation of economic management and Vietnam's move towards a market economy open to world trade.
Publication in april 1994
The book, with 4-colour maps and in three languages (French, Vietnamese and English), will be published jointly by La Documentation Française and
- price: 48.78€ (La Documentation Française, 124 rue Henri Barbusse, 93308 Aubervilliers cedex, France, tel. +33 1 40 15 70 00, fax +33 1 40 15 68 00);
an interactive computer version on PC, in French or English, is available at 91.47€. All the maps and text in the atlas can be displayed on screen, and more maps can be drawn and printed combining the indicators on which the maps published in the book are based (
, Maison de la Géographie, 17 rue Abbé de L’Épée, 34000 Montpellier, France, tel.: +33 4 67 14 58 17).
Table of contents
In the foreword the circumstances surrounding this French-Vietnamese scientific cooperation are explained, as well as the nature of the interactive, dynamic, computerised atlas, spatial and temporal reference points, and the technical and methodological bases for the maps. The atlas comprises 421 pages, 9 chapters and 308 maps and models:
Land: Administrative and spatial organisation; the major characteristics of the physical environment; the concentration of population; the uneven distribution of resources; Vietnam in South-East Asia.
Population: Urban and rural population; ethnolinguistic groups; population structure; structure of the working population; the pattern of migration.
Agricultural production: Agricultural systems; rice cultivation; other food crops; industrial crops; grazing and fishing.
The performance of agriculture: The factors of production; self-sufficiency in food; the value of production and exports.
Energy and industry: Mining and energy; industrial sectors; the industrial economy.
Transport: Networks, densities and flows; modes of transport and telecommunication.
Trade: Domestic trade and the banking sector; foreign trade.
The social sector: Education; health; culture and tourism.
The spatial organisation of Vietnam: The spatial structure of Vietnam based on the provinces; a model of spatial organisation of Vietnam; the making of a nation as a spatial issue.
A tool for development
The atlas is published as the US embargo on investment and trade is finally lifted. Investment by international financial institutions will allow the country to reconstruct its infrastructure, which was so badly damaged during the war.
This will provide an invaluable tool for those involved in reconstruction. Because it is published in three languages, it will greatly facilitate dialogue between the Vietnamese and foreigners taking part in this wide-scale development programme.
The fact that it is published simultaneously in book and computer format satisfies various requirements at the national as well as the provincial level in terms of regional development and as a tool to train cadres and students.
A tool for cooperation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CNRS are funding this scientific cooperation programme which fulfills four different objectives:
training: three Vietnamese researchers have been trained in France; one of these is at present completing a thesis;
technology transfer: an automatic cartography micro-computer equipment has been set up at the Centre in Hanoi;
research: following several visits of the Vietnamese in France and the French in Vietnam, the project has been carried out from beginning to end as a joint programme;
valorisation: the atlas was presented in the course of seminars in March 1994 in each of the three regions of Vietnam (Hanoi, Hue-Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City) in order to mobilise potential users.
Since reunification in 1975, Vietnam has undertaken a major programme of reform which has been stepped up because of the upheaval in communist countries. As Vietnam moves away from the old centralised economy towards a market economy open to world trade, it has developed its foreign links in the direction of the Asian "tigers". The economic transition is likely to benefit from investment by international financial institutions following the recent agreement on the country's foreign debt. Vietnam will increase the resources available for its reform programme and will maintain its rate of economic growth, which is already at 7% per annum. The country will also reconstruct its infrastructure, which was so badly damaged during the war. This tri-lingual atlas (in French, Vietnamese and English), which is also available in a computer-readable format, provides a useful tool for those involved in the economic reform. It shows the degree of integration of the country, the increasing leadership of the northern and southern capitals, the country's resources and potential for development and the spatial structures and trends.