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Vietnam named Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong as first female central bank governor

November 13, 2020 | 14:30

Vietnam’s National Assembly on Thursday approved the appointment of a female candidate for the post of governor of the country’s central bank.

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Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong became the State Bank of Vietnam’s first female governor since its establishment. (Photo: VN Express)

With a 97.08 percent vote (467 out of 481), Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong became the State Bank of Vietnam’s (SBV) first female governor since its establishment in 1951. All 14 SBV governors to date have been men, said VN Express.

Hanoian Hong, 52, holds a Masters's degree in Developmental Economics and has worked for 30 years in banking. Hong started working at the SBV in January 1991 at the Foreign Exchange Management Department. She then transferred to the banks’ Monetary Policy Department and took on the role of deputy director, and later, the director. In August 2014, the prime minister appointed her the central bank’s Deputy Governor, and she was reappointed to the post in August 2019.

She replaces Le Minh Hung, who has moved to a senior role in the ruling Communist Party. On October 20, 2020, Le Minh Hung received a decision which asked him to reassign SBV Governor to take on his new duty as Chief of Office of the Party Central Committee. The National Assembly also appointed two other new cabinet members Thursday morning, Nguyen Thanh Long as Minister of Health, and Huynh Thanh Dat as Minister of Science and Technology.

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In 2019, she was honored by Forbes Vietnam as one of the 50 most influential women in Vietnam. (Photo: Lao Dong)

“Hong is an experienced central bank official and I'm confident that she will be able to handle the new job pretty well,” Reuters quoted Ho Chi Minh City-based economist Le Tham Duong as saying.

Duong said the SBV would continue to focus on maintaining macro stability, adding that it has sufficient room to adjust its monetary policy in a flexible manner to steer the economy through the coronavirus pandemic. “The foreign exchange reserves are at a record high and the central bank has ample room to adjust its policy rates,” Duong said.

Nguyen Thi Hong faces the challenge of keeping bad debt in the banking system under control amid the Covid-19 pandemic and an ongoing investigation by the US into whether Vietnam had been undervaluing its dong currency.

In 2019, she was honored by Forbes Vietnam as one of the 50 most influential women in Vietnam, said Hanoi Times.

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