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Ex-Vietnam premier dies at 85

world Updated: Jun 11, 2008 17:20 IST

AFP
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Former Vietnamese prime minister Vo Van Kiet, a driving force behind the communist country's economic opening-up of the 1990s, died on Wednesday in Singapore at the age of 85, a government spokesman said.

"We were informed that former prime minister Vo Van Kiet died on Wednesday morning, June 11," a foreign affairs ministry spokesman told AFP.

The former Viet Cong revolutionary leader in South Vietnam, Kiet was considered the chief architect of the doi moi (renewal) market reforms of the late 1980s and 1990s that replaced the Soviet-style command economy.

Members of his entourage said he had been admitted to a Singapore hospital several days ago in poor health and with hypertension, and that his remains were being transferred back to Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday.

Born on November 23, 1922, in the southern Mekong Delta, Kiet served as premier from 1991 until 1997 when he stepped down to be replaced by his former deputy Phan Van Khai.