Tan  Dung Nguyen
Vietnam

Tan Dung Nguyen

Prime Minister

Date of Birth: 17/11/1949
Place of Birth: Cà Mau province

Hailing from Ca Mau, the southernmost province of Vietnam, Dung joined the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (aka the Viet Cong) in 1961. He was 12 years old. In his 20-year military career, he was wounded four times in battle. After he left the army, he earned a bachelor's degree in law. In 1981, he attended the Party School after which he served on various provincial party committees. He became Deputy Minister for Home Affairs in 1995.

Dung's appointment in 1997 as Deputy Prime Minister to Phan Van Khai paved the way for his succession to the Premiership, second in power only to the party chief, Nong Duc Manh. As Vietnam was shaken by the Asian financial crisis, Dung was also Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, Chair of the National Finance and Monetary Council and head of National Reform and Infrastructure committees.

He became Prime Minister in 2006, just in time to oversee Vietnam's entry into the World Trade Organization. The hallmarks of his government have been economic development and infrastructure expansion. Following scandals in the Transport Ministry early in his tenure, Dung spearheaded an anti-corruption drive. He recently wrapped up a tour of Britain, Ireland and Germany, where he courted foreign investment. His plans for maintaining Vietnam's strong growth included tantalising hints about pursuing export markets in the Middle East and Africa. But at home, Dung continues to suppress dissent and censor the internet.