Vietnam to tighten control of officials' foreign trips

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung chairs a two-day government meeting that started December 24 / PHOTO: VNA

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has ordered the foreign minister to tighten control over officials' trips abroad, following reports that Vietnam's diplomatic missions have been ineffective money wasters.

Dung made the order at a government meeting on Tuesday when Deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh reported that more than 3,200 Vietnamese delegations went abroad this year, or more than eight per day, at the state budget's expenses.

It was lower than last year with 3,780 delegations, but the problem, according to Minh, was that some delegations, mostly for research purposes, were ineffective and repeated itineraries.

Many countries' representatives said that different delegations from Vietnam raised the same questions time and time again during meetings with local delegations in short periods of time, he said.

"This caused wastes on the state budget."

According to Dung, during his recent meetings abroad, people told him that they were "fed up" with Vietnamese delegations' repeated gratuitous visits.

On the other hand, Vuong Binh Thanh, mayor of the Mekong Delta province of An Giang,said this year his province's agencies received 70 delegations from the government and the Party, many of which came for similar inspections.

Sometimes local agencies had to pay for meals and accommodations for the delegations, some of which stayed as long as three months, the chairman said, arguing that current situation was "too wasteful." 

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