Slow but sure progress in TPP Trade Ministers’ talks in Atlanta, Sep 30 – Oct 1 … or Oct 2 ?

Ministers will meet again on Thu, Oct 1, but no deal is seen likely before Fri, Oct 2, or maybe Sat, Oct 3. Auto sector rules of origin, dairy, IP for biologics remain the key issues. But there are indications of movements toward compromise on all three. Canada has proposed 50% TPP content for autos, lower than the NAFTA rules of 62.5% for autos. Japan has offered to accept higher percentages on auto parts. In addition, former NZ PM Helen Clark said it was “unthinkable” for NZ to be left out of TPP, while NZ Trade Minister Tim Groser said, “Is there a better alternative?” NZ Governments have “tried to negotiate FTAs with the U.S., Japan, Canada, and Mexico for 30 years and have completely failed. With these four giant countries , it’s this or nothing.” Read more

Dengue Fever: 39,000 cases, mostly in southern Vietnam; 8.9k in HCM City

But Hoang Mai District in Ha Noi has been a hot spot, with about 2,000 cases. Dong Nai province reported 5,000 cases, nearly twice last year’s level.

In an online discussion with leading doctors from the preventive healthcare agency and hospitals, experts said that all fatalities were severe cases and those people came to see doctors too late. Read more

Terumo BCT launches $100 million FDI facility near HCM City

Terumo BCT $100 mm FDI

Terumo BCT is a global medical device manufacturer headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado. With the opening of the Vietnam facility Terumo BCT products will be manufactured in seven countries, including Belgium, China, India, Japan, Northern Ireland, the US and Vietnam.

The factory will produce whole blood bags and disposables for automated collections. Once fully staffed, the building is expected to accommodate more than 900 new associates.

Read more

Vietnam’s Macroeconomic Stability Continues to Improve, Critical Risks Remain – World Bank: Taking Stock Dec 2013

World Bank logoNew WB Report says reenergizing medium-term growth will require renewed attention to a number of structural reforms, with focus on state owned banks and enterprises.

Taking Stock, a bi-annual assessment of Vietnam’s economy, identifies several critical risks to macro-economic stability, including: (i) low foreign exchange reserves; (ii) fragile private sector demand, (iii) possibility of departure from fiscal and monetary discipline; (iv) slow progress on structural reforms; and (v) loss of confidence in a fragile banking sector. Read more

United States and Viet Nam Sign Agreement on the Safety of Food, Medical Products

Countries Pledge to Cooperate on Training and Information Sharing to Improve Quality and Safety

Jun 24, 2008. The United States and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance the safety of food, feed, drugs and medical devices traded between the two nations.

The plan is the product of discussions between U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt and senior Vietnamese officials in Hanoi just two months ago and it exemplifies the new import-safety strategy adopted by the U.S. Government in November 2007. Historically, U.S. authorities have primarily relied on intervention at the border to intercept unsafe goods. The new strategy, crafted by a Cabinet-level interagency Working Group on Import Safety chaired by Secretary Leavitt, calls for actively working with trading partners to help ensure they build quality into every step of a product’s life cycle.

“Trade between our two nations has grown exponentially in recent years and our societies are better off as a result — and our cooperation in health is stronger than ever,” said Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Secretary Tevi Troy, in signing the MOU. “With this agreement, we’re increasing our joint efforts to ensure the safety of goods our citizens consume on a daily basis. This is an important step forward for the health of the American and Vietnamese people.”

The MOU calls for cooperation in the following areas:

  • Information-sharing — the U.S. and Viet Nam governments will exchange information on their respective regulatory systems, such as details on laws and regulations; guidance documents; lists of drugs approved by HHS’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in aquaculture; training opportunities on key topics, such as safety surveillance of products after marketing; and timely information on potential or emerging issues of product safety (food-borne illnesses, food contamination, etc.).
  • Workshops and training — the two countries hope to conduct or participate in workshops or other training that concerns food, animal feed, and medical products, including those offered by international organizations. The two sides will also make efforts to find opportunities for joint training for food-borne illnesses and the oversight of food traded internationally.
  • Best practices in clinical trials — HHS/FDA and its counterpart agencies intend to cooperate on training and inspections of clinical trials for the development of medical products.
  • Seafood safety — In cooperation with Vietnamese authorities, the United States will undertake a detailed review of safety issues regarding fish and fishery products exported from Viet Nam to the United States.

The MOU takes effect immediately, has an initial life of three years, and is subject to revision and renewal, contingent upon the approval of both nations.

The United States and Viet Nam have a strong and growing trade relationship that has greatly accelerated in recent years. Since signing of the United States-Viet Nam Bilateral Trade Agreement in 2001, commerce between the two nations has increased eight-fold, fueled, in part, by the agriculture and aquaculture sectors. Two-way trade exceeded $12.5 billion in 2007, according to the Foreign-Trade Division of the Census Bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Import safety continues to be a key priority for HHS. As the signing ceremony took place in Washington, Secretary Leavitt participated in a day-long product safety forum in El Salvador with government officials and business leaders from the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. The forum is part of the Secretary’s week-long trip to México, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panamá to strengthen efforts to improve the safety of products and to advance joint programs to improve health care in the region.

The Memorandum of Understanding is available

More information about Import Safety, please visit


Health and Medical Sciences Cooperation Agreement

sebelius-MOHU.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Minister of Health Dr. Nguyen Thi Kim Tien signed an Agreement on Health and Medical Sciences Cooperation, an official document outlining future U.S.-Vietnam health and science collaboration.

Health and science collaboration, through CDC, USAID, and others, has played a fundamental role in the U.S. Vietnam bilateral relationship.  Over the course of the past decade, the U.S. has provided nearly $600 million (USD) in health assistance to Vietnam.  This represents the creation of animal and human disease outbreak detection and control programs, HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care networks, mass deworming campaigns, and more.  Through U.S.-Vietnam health collaboration, great strides have been made toward increasing global health security.  Secretary Sebelius and I both hope that her visit and the Agreement on Health and Medical Sciences Cooperation will provide for a stronger U.S.-Vietnam partnership, further health collaboration, and greater global health security.

Read more from Ambassador Shear’s blog … Read more

San Francisco – HCM City Sister City Committee – LIVE WEBCAST from the Unification Palace

The San Francisco – Ho Chi Minh City Sister City Committee is organizing the “San Francisco Honoring Ceremony 2013” on Saturday, July 6th, 2013 at Unification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

This event serves to honour generous supporters and contributors in an effort to contain Hepatitis B, and to bring more awareness to this ongoing effort in Vietnam.

This event will be webcast live at 4PM.

Free Lasik Evaluation Now (60 USD) – American Eye Center Vietnam (May 13 – 30, 2013 )

American Eye Center

Read more