A trade fair and seminar event promoting Malaysian palm oil sales to Vietnam on July 1 attracted over 200 business representatives from both countries.

"The event provides an excellent opportunity to establish a network among representatives from the oil and fat industry," said YB Dato' Seri Douglas Uggah Embas, Malaysia's Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, at the one-day event, which was jointly organised by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council and Malaysian Palm Oil Board.

He said Malaysia is optimistic about palm-oil sales, especially in light of Vietnam 's economic development and improved living standards.

To meet the increasingly sophisticated demands of Vietnamese consumers, the minister encouraged companies to embark on collaborative initiatives to further enhance trade relations in palm oil.

Palm oil imports from Malaysia have supplemented 54 percent of Vietnam 's demand gap, said the minister.

Last year, almost 470,000 tonnes of Malaysian palm oil was exported to Vietnam , up 11.7 percent compared to 2011.

The figure for the first four months of this year was 147,000 tonnes, up 64 percent from last year's corresponding period.

Malaysia is the world's second largest exporter of palm oils.

Speaking at the event, Nguyen Thi Hong, Vice Chairwoman of the HCM City People's Committee, praised the two countries' trade ties, noting that this is the 40th year of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Vietnam .

Bilateral trade increased from 4.7 million USD in 2007 to 7.9 billion USD in 2012.

Malaysia is a major foreign investor in Vietnam, with a total investment of 15 billion USD (as of the end of 2012), up from 50 million USD in 1990.-VNA