Scene at the banquet (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a New Year banquet in Hanoi on January 23, with the participation of foreign ministry officials and representatives from foreign embassies in Vietnam.

Addressing the ceremony, the Prime Minister noted the socio-economic progress Vietnam made last year.

According to PM Phuc, in 2016, the country began implementing its socio-development plan for 2016-2020.

Despite difficulties, including damage from natural disasters, the economy grew 6.21 percent, compared to global average growth of 3 percent. As many as 1.6 million new jobs were also created.

Vietnam also kept inflation under five percent and total export revenue hit 176 billion USD, up nearly 9 percent annually.

More than 110,000 companies were established, with total registered capital of almost 900 billion VND (39.6 million USD), the highest figure ever recorded. Vietnam attracted 15.9 billion USD in foreign direct investment, a year-on-year increase of 9 percent.

Vietnam also welcomed 24 head of States and 10 million international tourists.

In his speech, Phuc thanked Vietnam’s partner countries, international sponsors and friends for supporting the country.

He said the World Economic Forum 2017 forecast that this year would see a global recovery with opportunities offered by the fourth industrial revolution and challenges from protectionism, terrorism and climate change.

All countries must join hands to sustain peace, stability and cooperation in line with the UN charter and international law, he stressed.

The Prime Minister noted that Vietnam is committed to working closely with ASEAN member states to build a strong and dynamic community, adding that ASEAN will celebrate its 50th founding anniversary in 2017.

As host of APEC Year 2017 Vietnam welcomes the participation of international friends for increased economic connectivity in the region, he said.

On behalf of participating diplomatic corps, Venezuelan Ambassador to Vietnam Jorge Rondon Uzcategui thanked the Vietnamese Government for the banquet.

Vietnam recorded significant achievements last year and proved its commitments to global peace and integration, the diplomat said.

He said the diplomatic corps want to strengthen cooperation with Vietnam in bilateral and multilateral diplomatic policies.-VNA