A ceremony to mark the 40 th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Malaysia was held in Ho Chi Minh City on April 26.

Addressing the event, Nguyen Thanh Chin, Standing Member of the HCM City People’s Council, emphasised the strong development of friendship and comprehensive cooperation in many fields between Vietnam and Malaysia over the past 40 years.

Ho Chi Minh City-Malaysia relations have particularly improved, he said.

Malaysia is the city’s important trade partner thanks to close geographical distance and a direct air route between the two countries, he added.

Malaysia had by the end of 2012 been the city’s largest investor with 177 projects and total registered capital of 5.7 billion USD.

The two sides also witnessed growth in cooperation in tourism and education, which, Chin said, are expected to continue to develop in the future.

Consul General in HCM City Shazrull bin Zahiran affirmed the constant development of Vietnam-Malaysia relations in both politics and economics.

Malaysia is one of Vietnam ’s ten biggest trade partners, with two-way trade gradually increasing from 4.1 billion USD in 2009 to 7.9 billion USD in 2012.

It ranks seventh among foreign investors in Vietnam , with 432 projects and total registered capital of 11.3 billion USD. Among Southeast Asian nations, it ranks second.

Malaysian visitors to Vietnam have increased rapidly in recent years with 200,000 arrivals each year.-VNA