Vietnam’s reformer ex-premier Kiet dies at 85

June 11th, 2008 - 1:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Hanoi, June 11 (DPA) Former Vietnamese Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet, who led the communist country in privatising its economy and opening its foreign relations to the West during the 1990s, died Wednesday morning in Singapore. He was 85. Vietnamese government spokesman Le Dung said Kiet had been in critical condition early Wednesday in an intensive care unit in a Singapore hospital, and that efforts to resuscitate him had failed.

Kiet was Vietnam’s Prime Minister between 1991 and 1997, a period when the country opened up to foreign investment and consolidated its shift from a socialist command economy to the free market, a reform process known as “doi moi”.

He also led the country in reestablishing friendly relations with its old foe, the US, which normalised relations with Vietnam in 1994.

In recent years Kiet had become critical of what he saw as Vietnam’s slow pace in privatising its economy and implementing other economic and social reforms.

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