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Like most Communist countries around the world, there is a fine balance between allowing foreign investors and opening up the market.
In practical terms, you'll find rampant capitalism at the "retail" level, with shopkeepers and sellers from carts exercising great flexibility in pricing and how they do business.
US economic and military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the Southern Vietnam government, escalating into the dispatch of half a million American troops in 1966.
What was supposed to be a quick and decisive action soon degenerated into a quagmire and US armed forces were only withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973.
Over two thirds of the current population was born after 1975.
After a brief Japanese occupation in World War II, the Communist Việt Minh under the leadership of Hồ Chí Minh continued the insurgency against the French, with the last Emperor Bảo Đại abdicating in 1945 and a proclamation of independence following soon after.
The majority of French had left by 1945, but in 1946 they returned to continue the fight until their decisive defeat at Điện Biên Phủ in 1954.
However, a new property regulation announced on 1 July 2015 now allows foreigners to own and lease apartments in Vietnam.
It is very difficult for them to trade without negotiating 'fees'.