Vietnam parliament approves cabinet that strengthens PM

HANOI - Vietnam's parliament approved a new cabinet on Wednesday that is likely to enhance the prime minister's power and may streamline policy-making during a rough patch for the economy but points largely to continuity in the coming five years.
Analysts see all four deputy prime ministers as supporters of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, bolstering his control over the $100 billion economy, which is struggling with high inflation, trade and budget deficits and a volatile currency.
As widely expected, Parliament approved as central bank governor Nguyen Van Binh, a Russian-trained technocrat who worked with Dung at the State Bank of Vietnam during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. It also endorsed an audit and accounting expert to be finance minister.
The central bank is not independent in Vietnam and its governor is a member of the cabinet.