AAFA • International Product Safety and Environmental Compliance Conference, May 17, 2012

When: Thu, May 17th 2012 8:00 am to 5:30 pm
Where: Hotel Nikko Saigon, 235 Nguyễn Văn Cừ, Ho Chi Minh City
Google Map: Hotel Nikko Saigon

AmCham is pleased to support the American Apparel & Footwear Association’s upcoming conference in Ho Chi Minh City. This event offers important information on regulations, compliance standards and critical cost savings on factory operations in serving the U.S. and European markets.

We encourage you to review the agenda and Register Online online.

If you have questions, please click this link to contact Susan Lapetina, Vice President, Industry Relations, American Apparel & Footwear Association

If paying in VND, please contact Ms. Christine Le, Tel: (84-8) 3742 1604 Ext: 109.

Conference Overview

The American Apparel & Footwear Association’s International Product Safety and Environmental Compliance Conference brings together industry leaders to educate overseas factories and suppliers on the numerous regulatory standards, restricted substances lists (RSL), chemical management programs and sustainability issues required of supply chain operations.

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Best’s Special Vietnam Report Sees Continued Strong Growth in Insurance

April 19, 2012. Vietnam’s insurance market has experienced strong double-digit premium growth in recent years and demand for insurance product is forecasted to continue, according to a recently released special report from A.M. Best Co.

“Insurers have benefitted from an emerging middle class, increased awareness of the benefits of insurance, and the introduction of compulsory lines of business,” Best explained. “This greater take-up of insurance comes as the Southeast Asia country’s economy expands, enabling government spending on infrastructure projects.”

The report, “Vietnam’s Insurance Market Anticipates Continued Strong Growth,” states that the insurance sector has seen premium growth rates in the double digits each year since Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization in 2007. “However,” the report notes, “while the insurance market is showing strong growth, insurance premium as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) remains static at around 1.5 percent.”

Yvette Essen, author of the report and Director of Industry Research – Europe & Emerging Markets, explained that insurers operating in Vietnam “face a range of economic and regulatory challenges; in particular, inflation—which reached 18.8 percent in 2011—remains a serious concern.” In addition to the economic challenges, she pointed out that “insurance rates are under pressure from the competitive market environment.” She also indicated that “a number of insurers are attempting to improve pricing and terms and conditions, although some companies have faced legal challenges when they have attempted to increase rates.”

In addition the rating agency said it “believes recent and anticipated regulatory changes will lead to stronger insurers and a more structured governance of the sector. The Ministry of Finance is reported to be considering restructuring the insurance sector, classifying Vietnam insurers into four groups according to factors including their ability to meet solvency ratios.”

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Best’s Special Report: Vietnam’s Insurance Market Anticipates Continued Strong Growth, Apr 12, 2012 Total Premium Could Reach VND 46 Trillion ($ 2.2 billion) in 2012.

Mon, Mar 12 Workshop on Consumer Product Safety and Furniture Exports to the USA

Event Background

To promote the export of furniture and home accessories to the US, the most important market of Vietnam, the Handicraft and Wood Industry of HCMC (HAWA) in cooperation with the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham), the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with financial support from Wells Fargo Bank and Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank), organize a workshop titled:

Time: 13:00 – 17:00, March 12, 2012 (Monday)
Venue: Meeting Room 2, Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center (SECC)
799 Nguyen Van Linh, Tan Phu Ward, Dist. 7, Ho Chi Minh City, VN

Participants: representatives of Vietnamese furniture & home decor exporters

Admission Fee: FREE, with translation assistance

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Ten little things to secure your online presence

Life online can be a bit of a minefield, especially when it comes to avoiding malicious hacker attacks.

You’ve all heard the basic advice: use a fully updated anti-malware product, apply all patches for operating system and desktop software, avoid surfing to darker parts of the Web, etc. etc.

Those are all important but there are a few additional things you can do to secure your online presence and keep hackers at bay.

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Members Lunch: Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008

When: Thu, Aug 11th 2011 11:30 am to 1:00 pm
Where: New World Saigon Hotel, Ho Chi MInh City

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Firms named to handle customs as “authorized economic operators” by the VN Customs Dept

Jul 20, 2011. The enterprises will be given special preferences in customs procedures such as an exemption from inspections of detailed customs documents and goods or exemption from post-entry audits.

Enterprises will be able to perform e-customs 24 hours a day, seven days a week and pay customs tax and fees monthly through banks, among other preferences.

Customs After Clearance Inspection Department director Pham Thanh Binh said the exemptions were an important step in reforming Customs in preparation for the sector integrating into regional and international Customs.

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Unique FDA Approved Plastic Bottle Recycling System to be Installed in Vietnam

New System Cost-Effectively Recycles PET (rPET) Flakes to Allow Resulting Plastic to Be Used in Multiple Applications

Bepex - Thanh Tai Gas Company contract
MINNEAPOLIS (BUSINESS WIRE), Jul 10, 2011. Bepex International, a world leader in process development and process equipment for the food, chemical, mineral, and polymer industries, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Vietnam-based Thanh Tai Gas Company to custom design, fabricate and deliver the first system to South East Asia in its new line of plastic bottle recycling systems, called BePET™. The FDA-approved system will allow Thanh Tai to recycle up to 1.5 billion plastic bottles made of PET, a type of plastic, per year.

“BePET™ cost-effectively recycles PET plastic flake while simultaneously controlling final product quality,” said Ralph Imholte, president and CEO, Bepex International. “Our new system can help the industry move towards greater sustainability by making the resulting recycled PET flake more cost effective and useable in more ways than other current PET recycling systems offer.”

The system is unique because it allows the processing plant operator to control both decontamination of the plastic and product intrinsic viscosity (IV) – a measure of the strength of the plastic polymer, which determines how the resulting plastic can be used – at the same time and in solid form. Different IV plastic can be used for different applications; for example high IV can be used for tire cord applications, while low IV plastic can be used for fiber applications such as fleece, or carpet. Additionally, the system’s innovative process design allows operating and capital costs to be some of the lowest in industry, with savings of up to 60 percent when compared to currently available recycling systems.

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Honeywell appoints Mai Trang Thanh as First President for Vietnam

HO CHI MINH, Vietnam, July 1, 2011. Honeywell (NYSE: HON) today announced that it has appointed Mai Trang Thanh as
 its first president for Vietnam. Thanh will be responsible for the development
 and implementation of a comprehensive strategy to accelerate the growth of
Honeywell’s businesses across Vietnam; including expansion into new markets and
 new product offerings.

A native of Vietnam, Thanh has over 17 years of experience serving in various
positions in the oil and gas industry. During that time she has built an 
extensive network within the industrial government and private sectors of 
Vietnam. She helped position several US companies as trusted partners to the
 Vietnamese Government by communicating the companies’ complementary
 technologies, services and financing capabilities. She has expertise in 
identifying potential new markets, business mapping and implementing long-term
 growth initiatives. The relationship she has established with local companies
 such as PetroVietnam, Vinachem, Cong Thanh Joint Stock Corporation and others 
will serve as a solid base from which to execute strategic growth initiatives 
for Honeywell in Vietnam. Thanh holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics
 from National Economic University, Vietnam and an MBA from Columbia Southern 
University in the United States.

Commenting on the appointment, President and CEO of Honeywell Asia, Shane
Tedjarati said, “I am very pleased to welcome Mai Trang Thanh to Honeywell and
 to have her as our president for Vietnam. Vietnam has become one of the 
fastest-growing economies in Asia. Honeywell has been serving strategic clients
 in Vietnam for many years and we have built a good foundation for rapid future 
growth. With Thanh leading our efforts in country we intend to further 
strengthen our presence and broaden our activities significantly in Vietnam,
commensurate with the strategic position of this country.”

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HEEAP to raise training funding for future engineers

HCMC – Partners and members of the Higher Education Engineering Alliance Program (HEEAP) will convene a meeting in HCMC this week to decide more funding and measures to make this program move faster and develop next generation of Vietnamese engineers.

The meeting was disclosed by Jeffrey S. Goss, director of Vietnam HEEAP and assistant dean of Global Outreach and Extended Education for Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

“Our initial resource partners Intel Corporation and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided us US$2.5 million to start the project last summer. We will be announcing a large increase in the funding for the program,” Goss told the Daily last Friday, after Siemens announced US$71 million in-kind software grant to the program.

The in-kind software grant will help universities develop the next generation of Vietnamese engineers in order to quench the thirst of companies for high-skilled employees in Vietnam.

The software comprising comprehensive digital product development and digital manufacturing solutions will benefit the Hanoi University of Technology, Danang University of Technology, Can Tho University, HCMC University of Technology and the HCMC University of Technical Education.

Erdal Elver, president and chief executive officer of Siemens Vietnam, said Siemens supported the universities in their education program as part of its corporate social responsibility committed to Vietnam. He expected the program would bring practical benefits to the universities and assist students with their career development.

The software was provided by Siemens PLM Software of the Siemens Industry Automation Division, a major provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services.

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Saigon Times, Apr 18, 2011

Defining PLM, Siemens PLM Software Web Site

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software allows companies to manage the entire lifecycle of a product efficiently and cost-effectively, from ideation, design and manufacture, through service and disposal. Computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), computer-aided engineering (CAE), product data management (PDM) and digital manufacturing converge through PLM.

Vietnam raises fuel prices to record levels

Vietnam has raised fuel prices by up to 15 percent, adding to soaring inflation as the government tries to battle smuggling of the subsidized product.

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