Vietnam's prime minister admits 'faults' on economy

Vietnam PM Nguyen Tan Dung at parliament, 22 October 2012 Nguyen Tan Dung said that he recognised his political responsibility

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Vietnam's prime minister has admitted he made mistakes managing the country's faltering economy, promising to reform state firms hit by corruption scandals.

Nguyen Tan Dung said in a parliamentary speech that he recognised his "political responsibility".

He was spared disciplinary action over financial scandals last week after a meeting of Communist Party leaders.

Public anger over corruption at state-owned firms had put the PM under pressure before the meeting.

"I recognise my political responsibility and my faults," the prime minister said at the opening of Vietnam's national assembly.

"We have learned our lesson."

Nguyen Tan Dung's government has faced a series of corruption scandals at state-owned enterprises like Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin) and Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines).

In March, nine top officials were jailed for their roles in the near-bankruptcy of Vinashin.

Last month, the former chairman of Vinalines was arrested abroad and extradited for ''alleged economic crimes''.

Nguyen Tan Dung has been prime minister since 2006 and came into office amid expectations that he would continue economic and political reforms in the country.

However, a global financial crisis two years later saw Vietnam's economy slump after decades of high growth and it has since been faced with problems such as high inflation and debt.

The prime minister has also been under pressure from some bloggers discussing corruption cases and human rights issues online.

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