Message from the Chair – November 2019

Happy Thanksgiving to our AmCham members and families! Thanksgiving is a time for coming together as families, friends, and as a nation to offer thanks for the blessings and opportunities in our lives. As we celebrate one of America’s most-cherished national holidays with our family and friends, please know the AmCham Vietnam HCMC family is thankful for you, our loyal members, who have given so much to build AmCham into the vital, robust chamber it is today. Thank you, on behalf of the entire Board of Governors, for your loyalty and support.

This month was also very special as we celebrated our 25th  Anniversary in Vietnam at a memorable dinner on November 21st  at the historic Caravelle Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. We welcomed members of the U.S. and Vietnam governments, and many AmCham members—from our founders to our very newest members. Among the guests from our respective governments were U.S. Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Marie Damour;  former President of Vietnam and former HCMC Party Secretary Trương Tấn Sang; HCMC People’s Committee Standing Vice Chairman Lê Thanh Liêm; as well as Directors and Vice Directors of Departments in HCMC; and other members of the U.S. Mission to Vietnam. We also welcomed and recognized  several former AmCham HCMC chairpersons and members of the board of governors, among the many who contributed to building AmCham since its informal beginnings in March 1994.

The event also featured special musical performances by famed saxophonist Trần Mạnh Tuấn , who shared both traditional American jazz and Vietnamese melodies with our guests. The night capped off with a celebratory jam-session with Tuan joining AmCham’s own “Durian Durian,” a band made up of former and current board members, including Fred Burke, Mark Gillin and others from Tuan’s band, who played some American classics to conclude the night.

If you wish to have a souvenir from our 25th  Anniversary celebration, you may order our custom-designed posters and mugs for yourself or friends. We will also offer another opportunity to sign our 25 year logo at our upcoming Annual General Meeting on December 10.

November was also busy for AmCham HCMC with regional opportunities, advocacy and industry initiatives. On November 1-2, Executive Director Mary Tarnowka and Vice Chairman Michael Beckman visited Da Nang to meet with Ho Ky Minh, Vice Chairman of Da Nang People’s Committee, visit the Blush Beach Club, Universal Alloy’s new factory, and Coca-Cola’s factory, and meet AmCham member companies and friends. We expect to visit Da Nang more frequently given the increasing number of our member companies with operations there.

On November 3-5, our Executive Director Mary Tarnowka participated with a large delegation of U.S. government and Vietnam businesses led by Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink at the Indo-Pacific Forum which occurred during the East Asia Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. Later that week, HCMC hosted an invited roundtable of AmCham members with the General Counsel from the U.S. Trade Development Agency to hear about opportunities for early-stage support for infrastructure projects in Vietnam. On November 8 th, I attended an AmCham Hanoi reception for U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, along with Mary Tarnowka and others from AmCham HCMC.

Our committees have also been making strides this month. Healthcare’s revamped committee re-launched this month, including the issuance of position paper to Vietnam’s Ministry of Health and the Drug Administration to consider modifications to Directive 23 & Decision 540, to ensure rigorous privacy and security policies to protect the use and access to the sensitive and private patient data as part of the proposed Vietnam Pharmaceutical Portal (VPP). In addition to several other committee meetings and events, our Food & Beverage Committee held a Forum in Hanoi on November 25 with industry and government experts to promote sustainability and improved food safety regulation and standards. Our Education committee held a standing-room-only event on November 26 focused on child safeguarding and is coordinating a skills gap survey with Fulbright University Vietnam – please complete your survey!

November also marked the Nominating Committee’s launch of this year’s election for 9 positions on AmCham HCMC’s Board of Governors. Voting for this year’s slate of nominated candidates opened on November 11, 2019, after the Committee’s “Meet the Candidates” event. All AmCham HCMC voting members should have received an email with a unique code and password to complete on-line voting for the 9 positions, choosing from 12 candidates. (All candidate bios and statements of interests are both on the AmCham website and within the on-line ballot). The election will close on December 5, and the Committee will announce the 9 elected members at our Annual General Meeting on December 10, 2019. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Upcoming Events

The last month of 2019 will include one of our most important business meetings and well-known signature AmCham events. Be sure not to miss anything by often checking our online calendar . Let us know if you are not receiving our weekly update emails.  Please also keep mind these special events:

Membership & Sponsorship

AmCham welcomes new members all year long. Earlier this month, Mary Tarnowka welcomed our newest members for an “AmCham 101” orientation on November 11th .

We will hold another New Member Orientation on December 10, just before our Annual General Meeting.

We thank the following new members:

Diamond Premium Member:  Green Power Generation Pte Ltd

Corporate Members:  Barton Pike Executive Recruitment Company, Copper Mountain Energy JSC (CME), Data Energy Company, Hertz Vietnam, Marou Chocolate Company, Sunrise Events Vietnam Company, Vexos Vietnam Company, Vietnamese-German University, VMED Group JSC.

You may have received an invitation to renew your AmCham Vietnam HCMC membership, if your membership is on the calendar year. We hope you will renew, and also consider the various sponsorship levels available as a way to elevate your opportunities and exposure through AmCham.  As a non-profit, non-governmental, and non-partisan organization, we rely on our members for support and exist to serve you. Please also consider becoming an AmCham sponsor, or increasing the level of your sponsorship for 2020.

If you have questions about your membership and/or corporate sponsorship packages, please contact Ms. Sam Hoang . Special renewal offers will apply for members renewing by December 31st.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at AmCham Vietnam-HCMC. We are thankful for your active engagement and participation with AmCham – and we are better for it!


With Best Regards,
Amanda Rasmussen