Forum: Food & Beverage Industry in Vietnam

Date(s) - 28/03/2014
8:00 am - 1:30 pm

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Melia Hanoi Hotel


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Video: Introducing AmCham’s Food and Beverage Committee
Presentation: AmCham Introduction, Herb Cochran EN|VN
Presentation: Food and Beverage Industry in Vietnam: Domestic and International Perspectives, Ph.D. Phan Huu Thang EN|VN
Presentation: Regulatory Harmonization and F&B Sector in Vietnam, Van Nguyen EN|VN
Presentation: Proposed Amendments in the Draft SCT Law: Health, Economic, Legal Perspectives, Sesto Vecchi EN|VN
Presentation: Global Experience: Carbonated Beverage Taxes & Lessons, Christopher J. Snowdon EN|VN
Presentation: Carbonated Beverages and Health Questions: Fact and Fiction, Dr. Mason Cobb EN|VN
Presentation: Economic and Social Implications of SCT Law on Essential Consumer Goods, Ph.D. Tran Kim Chung EN|VN
Photo Album



Event Description

AmCham established a Food & Beverage Committee in August 2013, in recognition of the importance of the food and agriculture sector in Vietnam in terms of employment and contribution to the GDP of the country. We particularly wanted to promote the competitiveness of the sector by cooperating to support technical assistance to implement Vietnam’s commitments regarding SPS (Sanitary and Phytosanitary) and TBT (Technical Barriers to Trade) in the WTO, the ASEAN Blueprint 2015, and the pending TransPacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement.

As Mr. Van Duc Muoi, Chairman of the HCMC Food Association often said, “Từ các thực tế này, trong quá trình đàm phán TPP, phương án tốt hơn cả là đề nghị các nước đối tác phát triển trong TPP có cam kết hỗ trợ kỹ thuật theo các hình thức cụ thể, khả thi và hiệu quả để thực hiện các biện pháp này.”

This “Forum on the Food & Beverage Industry in Vietnam” will offer an opportunity for government and business exchange of views on a number of global and domestic issues, and will help lay the groundwork for consultation on laws, regulations, and systems to promote regulatory coherence and harmonization of quality, safety, labeling requirements in the food and beverage sector in Vietnam and ASEAN.





8:00 am Registration and Refreshments
8:30 am Welcome Remarks AmCham Vietnam, Mr. Herb Cochran, Executive Director
8:35 am Remarks from VCCI, Ms. Pham Thi Thu Hang, General Secretary
8:50 am Food and Beverage Industry in Vietnam: Domestic and International Perspectives
PhD. Phan Huu Thang, Senior Director, GIBC
9:05 am Regulatory Harmonization and F&B Sector in Vietnam
Ms. Van Nguyen, Legal Manager, Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage
9:25 am Proposed Amendments in the Draft SCT Law: Health, Economic, Legal Perspectives
Mr. Sesto Vecchi, Russin & Vecchi
9:40 am Tea break
9:50 am Global Experience: Carbonated Beverage Taxes – Lessons
Mr. Christopher J. Snowdon, Director, Institute of Economic Affairs, London
10:05 am Carbonated Beverages and Health Questions: Fact and Fiction
Dr. Mason Cobb, Chairman, Healthcare Committee, AmCham
10:20 am Economic and Social Implications of SCT Law on Essential Consumer Goods
PhD Tran Kim Chung, Vice President of the Central Institute for Economic Management
10:35 am Q&A and panel discussions
Moderator: Mr. Herb Cochran, Executive Director, AmCham Vietnam (HCMC)
11:10 am Closing Remarks: VCCI Representative, AmCham Representative
11:15 am Luncheon


Members and guests: 500,000 VND per person 

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Taken by Mimi, Sep 8, 2011Herb Cochran is Executive Director of AmCham Vietnam (HCM City), where the mission is “to help make Vietnam the best destination in Southeast Asia for business and investment.” This means working closely with Vietnam’s business associations and government, since it is they that are the leaders who will actually decide on the goals and pace of achievement. Herb and AmCham have cooperated closely with VCCI, VITAS, HAWA, LEFASO, the Leading Business Club, HCM City’s Investment and Trade Promotion Center, and national and local government agencies over the years on many key issues, including the Bilateral Trade Agreement, the Bilateral Textile Agreement, Vietnam’s WTO Accession, and the TransPacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement. Before joining AmCham, Herb was Commercial Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City; Regional Director, East Asia and Pacific, U.S. Department of Commerce, based in Washington DC; and Commercial Attaché in Osaka, Tokyo, and Bangkok successively.


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Dr. Phan Huu Thang is current the chief representative of GIBC office – Ha Noi Branch.
GIBC has been established in view of the increasing importance of global integration for both short-term and long-term development of the Vietnamese business community, welded with the mission of “Sustaining Partners’ and Customers’ Business Growth” via leading professional business advisory.
Dr. Thang has been working in the FDI sector for years. He has been the Officer of the National Economic Planning Committee (later becomes Ministry of Planning and Investment) – Director of Transport Economy Division from 1973 t0 1988. After that he has been working in the State Committee for Corporation and Investment (later becomes Ministry of Planning and Investment) – General Director of FDI Project Management Department for 7 years before being the General Director of Foreign Investment Agency – FIA until 2010.
Dr. Thang has been published and written some books and many research on the ministry level as well as many articles  about Economy and FDI.


Van PepsiVan Nguyen is the Head of Legal of Suntory PepsiCo Beverage Vietnam, a strategic alliance between Suntory Holding Limited, a Japanese multi-business corporation with interests in Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Alcoholic Beverages, Health Foods, Food Service, Flower Seeding, and Fitness Club Operations, and PepsiCo Inc, an American food and beverage giant.
Van is a member of Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association.  Prior to join Suntory PepsiCo in 2009, she was a lawyer of Metro Cash and Carry Vietnam.  She has extensive experience in a wide range of corporate and M&A matters including corporate regulatory, corporate restructuring, investment, labor, competition, dispute settlement and intellectual property.



Sesto Vecchi manages the Vietnam practice group of Russin & Vecchi and is in the HCM City office. Sesto has lived and practiced law in Vietnam for nearly 30 years. He is on the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in HCM City.  He was a long time teacher of American contract law to members of the Ho Chi Minh City bar association.

He graduated with a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and received his law degree from Temple Law School.  He is a member of the bars of New York and Washington, DC.



Christopherchrissnowdon John Snowdon is an author and freelance journalist based in the UK. He writes for Sp!ked and other publications. He is particularly known as a vocal opponent of Government intervention in matters such as alcohol and obesity; his Twitter biography understatedly writes he is “not that keen on the nanny state”. He is also a research fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs.
Snowdon was born in North Yorkshire in 1976 and studied history at Lancaster University, graduating in 1998
His first book, Velvet Glove, Iron Fist (2009), is a history of anti-smoking activity from the 15th century to the present day. According to WorldCat, the book is held in 56 libraries.
His second book, The Spirit Level Delusion: Fact-checking the Left’s New Theory of Everything (2010), is a response to and critique of The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better.
His third book is The Art of Suppression: Pleasure, Panic and Prohibition since 1800 (2011).


Dr. MasonDr. Mason Cobb has a 17-year history in Viet Nam.  He was the original General Director of the first private American-Vietnamese international healthcare clinic since the war.  He and his partner then established Victoria Healthcare International Clinics 11 years ago, and have seen it grow into a major contributor to VNese healthcare.
The American Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors has had Dr. Mason’s voice for healthcare interests for the past 4 years.  He also advocates scientific rigor in business and governmental decisions.
An American, Dr. Mason hails from Michigan farm country, but has kept a home near Seattle for the past 20 years.  He continues to do some medical work in USA, and keeps a close eye on cutting edge healthcare developments that can be helpful to Viet Nam.
Dr. Mason has 4 children and lives in HCMC.  His wife, Binh Pham Cobb, is COO of the Victoria system and a businesswoman who has developed several successful businesses in Viet Nam.


Tran Kim ChungPhD Tran Kim Chung is Vice President of the Central Institute for Economic Management. He’s currently a member of Public Investment Law’s drafting group and member of Planning Law’s drafting group. He’s also in charge of various studies on economic institution and ownership regime in support of the 1992 Constitution amendment. Dr Chung has participated in several studies on socio-economic impacts relating to introduction/ implementation of the Vietnam Government’s policies.
Before obtaining PhD in Economic in 2004, he obtained a Diploma in Mathematics in Hanoi National University, Vietnam in 1983, and Master in Economics of Development, University of Manchester, England in 1997.

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