Former PM's son Vietnam's new construction minister

By Nguyen Quy   April 7, 2021 | 10:25 pm PT
Former PM's son Vietnam's new construction minister
Vietnam's new Minister of Construction Nguyen Thanh Nghi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Nguyen Thanh Nghi, the eldest son of former PM Nguyen Tan Dung, has been appointed minister of construction, making him the youngest member of the new cabinet.

Nghi, 45, was one of 12 new ministers and department heads approved by the National Assembly Thursday morning to take over new roles under the newly-elected Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

The construction ministry is responsible for state administration on construction, building materials, housing and office buildings, architecture, urban and rural construction planning, urban infrastructure, public services; and representing state capital in state-owned enterprises.

Nghi, a native of the southernmost province of Ca Mau, has a doctorate in construction engineering.

He used to be vice head of the HCMC University of Architecture from 2008 to 2011.

In 2011, he was appointed deputy construction minister at the age of 35, becoming the youngest official holding the post in Vietnam. In March 2014, he was appointed deputy Party secretary of the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang before becoming the youngest provincial Party secretary in the country next year.

He was also Kien Giang deputy chairman from 2014 to 2015.

In October 2020, he was reappointed deputy minister of construction in PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc's cabinet.

Nghi was elected to the 13th Party Central Committee last January.

Nghi is the eldest son of ex-Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who stepped down in 2016 after a 10-year reign.

Dung was the youngest prime minister Vietnam had in 20 years. He has been credited with further opening up of Vietnam's economy and boosting infrastructure development. The General Statistics Office has calculated that the nation’s poverty rate decreased from 18.1 percent in 2006 to 4 percent in 2015 while Vietnam's per capita GDP rose from $796 in 2006 to $2,106 in 2015. GDP growth, however, slowed down from 8.17 percent in 2006 to 6.68 percent in 2015.

Several cases of corruption during the former PM's tenure have been exposed. A number of top officials in his cabinet have been tried and sentenced, including former political star and Transport Minister Dinh La Thang, former Ministers of Information and Communication Nguyen Bac Son and Truong Minh Tuan, who received life imprisonment under Vietnam's sweeping corruption crackdown spearheaded by Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong.

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