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Creative ideas needed for M'sia to win more palm oil market [01-03-2011]  
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PALM oil conferences hosted by the Malaysian authorities are set to become more innovative and creative as the fight for the global vegetable oils market turns tougher following the sustainable requirement imposed on agriculture crops worldwide.

One recent example was the Pointers on Price Trends Internet seminar organised by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) last month.

It suffices to say the one-week seminar with prominent palm oil experts, including Thomas Mielke from OilWorld and MPOC chief executive officer Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron, giving their opinions online on the dynamics of palm oil for 2011, managed to attract good response from local and foreign Internet surfers alike.

The best feature incorporated in the seminar was the question-and-answer column whereby readers got to ask or input their views to the respective experts via online on the latest progress and issues on the commodity.

Even though some observers feel that they still need to get used to the concept of a virtual seminar, many have applauded MPOC for taking this new approach to present pertinent facts on palm oil.

Another insightful conference also hosted by MPOC was the Reach and Teach Friends of the Industry Seminar: Challenges and Opportunities in 2011 in late January.

It was refreshing as participants got to listen to an entirely new batch of speakers i.e. the eloquent John Low, NKEA Pemandu director, NEXTVIEW chief strategist Benny Lee, Bell Group of Companies chief exective officer Datin Liana Low and the EU member of parliament Roger Helmer.

True to the promise of MPOC chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor recently, MPOC had intensified its efforts to promote palm oil and also counter the negative publicity on the commodity.

Apart from hosting conferences, he said MPOC would be fully exploring the use of new media i.e. blogs, contests and even short video clips, particularly in Europe where the attacks on palm oil by green activists were most critical.

Meanwhile, Bursa Malaysia will also be playing host to the Palm and Lauric Oils Conference & Exhibition (POC 2011) beginning next Tuesday.

Dubbed as the world's largest palm oil event, POC 2011 entitled Weather Challenges, Maximising Opportunities is highly anticipated to deliver more new updates rivalling those of MPOC.

Among the speakers are CME Group vice chairman Charles Carey and Dalian Commodity Exchange executive vice-president Li Jun. ,Both CME and the Dalian exchange currently trade palm oil contracts.

Other hot topics include the pricing of edible oil markets, biodiesel risk management and outlook of biofuels and its impact on palm oil prices.

Similar to the efforts of local palm oil custodians, local plantation companies have also been stepping up promotional efforts and communication strategies to heighten the awareness among foreign consumers and media on the sustainable credentials of the commodity.

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