Message from the Chair – January 2020

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới! Happy Tết to our AmCham members and friends as we welcome in the Vietnamese New Year 2020 – the year of the Rat. As Vietnam embarks on the most important festival of year, we wish you all a very special holiday time, where many traditions with family and friends are observed and celebrated all over Vietnam. The colors, flowers, and foods of the season are among some of the special things shared and celebrated. We were honored to join several Tet celebrations, including those of the People’s Committees of Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, among others.

The beginning of the Lunar New Year is a time for renewal — we too at AmCham Vietnam-HCMC have worked the first few weeks of January on our plans and goals for 2020, and are excited to put those into action in February and beyond.

Joining me in that effort is our 2020 Board of Governors, including our new Executive Committee. I am honored to serve again this year as Chairwoman of the Board, along with Vice-Chairs Michael Beckman and Chad Ovel, Treasurer Alan Danner, and Secretary Jonathan Moreno. On January 18, our full board and Executive Director Mary Tarnowka held a half-day planning and strategy session. We are excited to refine and implement the goals identified. Expect AmCham to continue its positive momentum for strategic growth and innovation to better support you!

We were also active this month with continuing advocacy and the launch of two new initiatives. On January 10, I was privileged to represent AmCham Vietnam as its National Chairwoman at the Annual Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) 2019, along with several other AmCham Vietnam representatives leading VBF working groups, other business chambers and associations, and key members of the Vietnamese government. As part of the dialogue, we advanced a platform for the promotion of an enabling regulatory ecosystem, unlocking the full potential of the digital economy, and partnership with Vietnam to develop physical infrastructure to promote sustainable growth and development and a globally competitive, innovative workforce. Click the link for our VBF position paper: English and Vietnamese

To learn the inside story about the recent VBF dialogue, outcomes, and the business policy outlook for 2020, join our VBF Briefing on February 12.

Less than a week after the VBF Annual Dialogue, we hosted the VBF Power & Energy (P&E) Working Group for its launch of the “Made in Vietnam Energy Plan (MVEP) 2.0.” (Read MVEP 2.0 here: English and Vietnamese) Executive Director Mary Tarnowka welcomed more than 60 industry representatives to the HCMC event where VBF P&E Working Group Co-Chair John Rockhold, and Luong Ba Hung, Director of VBF’s Sustainable Energy Engagement Project, highlighted key provisions of the  plan to ensure Vietnam’s energy security and sustainable growth through power generated primarily from renewables and LNG and engaged in dialogue with industry representatives about critical next steps.

We also ushered in two new ways to engage with AmCham Vietnam-HCMC. On January 14, we introduced AmCham’s new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative coordinated by co-chairs Eddie Thai and Jonah Levey at an Interactive Foundations of Innovation: A Design Thinking Workshop, led by Doodle Brands Chris and Nhu Vo Elkin. Later that day, we hosted our first Capital Markets Committee meeting, with leadership from co-chairs Chad Ovel and Louis Nguyen, where representatives from fund management companies, securities firms, banks and insurance corporations discussed opportunities, key challenges, and potential advocacy issues. Participants also discussed potential synergies with the new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative, and plans to develop advocacy and outreach with the Vietnam government.

Upcoming Events

We look forward to supporting the initiatives and plans by all of our committees in 2020, with continued networking, information-sharing, advocacy, and events already in the works from many of our sectoral committees in the coming months. Be sure to check our website calendar and watch for our weekly email to stay current on our committee activities and events.

Also coming in February is a special workshop hosted by AmCham Vietnam-HCMC, with support from Walmart Foundation and Pacific Links, on preventing human trafficking and forced labor in supply chains. This February 26th workshop will be led by various experts, including industry and topic panelists from various manufacturing and solution providers.

And returning in 2020 on February 26th, is our casual networking event, Connect & Cocktails, to be held in District 2 at Mia Saigon Luxury Boutique Hotel. This monthly event is an opportunity for existing members, their guests, and those curious about AmCham to meet up in relaxed and fun settings to network and learn more about AmCham and how it can work for you!

New Members

We are thrilled to welcome over 20 new members so far in January! ABS Institute Co., LTD; American Education and Development Group Inc; American Fashion JSC; ANT Law; ASART Deal Advisory Company Limited; ATT Logistics JSC; Children of Vietnam; Focus Consulting Co., Ltd; Fuji Xerox Vietnam Co., Ltd; HFI LLC; HR1 Vietnam Co., Ltd; IQVIA; Mövenpick Resort Phu Quoc; Nguyen Binh Khiem High School; Onesky Foundation; Online Mobile Services JSC (Momo); Pure Vietnam Company Limited; Tam Minh Technology JSC; United Overseas Bank; Vietcetera; Vietcombank; Vitabella JSC.

Membership & Sponsorship

Don’t miss out on an exciting year ahead—remember to renew your membership.  For even more opportunities and exposure for your company, check out our premium membership levels.  As we are set to launch into an exciting year for AmCham Vietnam in HCMC, there will be many ways AmCham can keep you connected, especially as a corporate partner.  Contact Cindy Tran at [email protected] or Sam Hoang at [email protected] for more information on getting more out of your AmCham membership through our premium membership packages.

In closing out the year, thank you members for your contributions to and passion for AmCham Vietnam. To the Vietnamese community and those of us who now call Vietnam home, Happy New Year!
An Khang Thịnh Vượng! Wishing you security, good health and prosperity!

Amanda Rasmussen
Chairwoman

Message from the Chair – December 2019

Warmest greetings of the season!  We at AmCham Vietnam-HCMC are grateful for our members and for all of your wonderful support this year.  We could not have achieved the many successes and opportunities for our members and the Chamber without your active participation and generous sponsorships.  Together with you, our engaged Board of Governors, dedicated staff, and our new Executive Director Mary Tarnowka, we have reached a record number of members at AmCham Vietnam-HCMC, engaged in important national and local advocacy efforts, and hosted many high-quality business and signature events.  As we wind down 2019 and embark on our 26 th  year in 2020, we continue to strive to improve the business climate for trade and investment between the U.S. and Vietnam.

December has been very busy for AmCham—from our signature annual Governor’s Ball and Santa’s Breakfast—to our Annual General Meeting with new Board members announced—to an important meeting with the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City—and other advocacy papers and business events in between and after—the month was packed with important AmCham work and a bit of fun!

Arguably the most fun and anticipated AmCham annual event of the year—this year’s Governor’s “Silver” Ball on December 7 th  was once again a huge success.  Our dedicated ball committee of community volunteers and AmCham staff worked many months to pull off an amazing, festive event, transforming the Intercontinental Saigon into a glittering wonderland with incredible food, beverages, entertainment and amazing prizes, with over 100 raffle and auction items.  New this year, we offered four one-of-a-kind items for live auction. Through the generosity of our sponsors and many guests, we raised a record high $46,000 for our flagship corporate social responsibility activity—our two AmCham scholarships programs. Thank you ball guests and sponsors for helping us reach a new high!

To see more great photos and to check the many raffle prize numbers drawn at the end of Ball, see the following link:

One week prior to the Ball, we awarded 60 university students with the annual AmCham Scholarship. Now in its 19 th year, the merit-based AmCham Scholarship supports university students with funds for their education, as well as training and experience for their post-graduation future.  Since its founding in 2001, AmCham has awarded 935 scholarships, now working with 19 partner universities. Congratulations to our new AmCham Vietnam Scholars!

Earlier this year, we awarded 55 scholarships to female university students in STEM majors through our Women in Engineering scholarship. Since its founding in 2001, this program now has 315 alumnae, with 8 partnering universities in HCMC and Da Nang.

Again, thanks to your generosity at the Ball and the corporate sponsors and volunteers who help us all year long, we are able to reach and promote many talented students at local universities, many who also find opportunities with AmCham corporate members through internships and jobs after university.

On December 10 th  we hosted our Annual General Meeting, where we updated our members on the accomplishments, as well as an overview of the membership and financial position of AmCham Vietnam HCMC. We were honored to also have  U.S. Deputy Principal Officer Tim Liston participate and address the importance of continuing the AmCham partnership with the U.S. Mission in Vietnam. Our Nominating Committee Chairperson, Walter Blocker, also announced the following members have been elected to continue an additional term or begin a new one as an AmCham Vietnam HCMC Governor: Michael Beckman (EY Law Vietnam); Milton Hagler (Fluid Power & Controls, Co. Ltd.), Michael Kelly (Ho Tram Project Company – The Grand); Jahanzeb Khan (Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage); Colin McCandless (InterContinental Saigon Hotel & Residence); Kevin Moore (Vietnam Waste Solutions); Jonathan Moreno (Diversatek Vietnam); Hang Nguyen (Baker & McKenzie); Chad Ovel (Mekong Capital); Soren Pedersen (SSA Marine); Sai Ramana Ponugoti (P&G Vietnam); and myself (Indo Trans Corp). I look forward to working with these great individuals who will join the full Board in January 2020 to govern our organization, uphold its mission, and assist the Chamber in supporting our business communities. At the end of 2019, we will say good-bye and thank you to departing Board Members: Sandra Cho, John Nguyen, Bill Watson, and Sasha Stinchfield.

On December 13 th  we held a joint working session with the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, where we held meetings with both Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong and Standing Vice Chairman Le Thanh Liem and many City department leaders for an afternoon session of open collaboration with many from the AmCham Vietnam board, our Executive Director Mary Tarnowka, several sectoral member experts, and Consul General Marie Damour and others from the U.S. Mission about partnering to develop the physical infrastructure, regulatory ecosystem, and talent to take U.S. investment in HCMC to the next level.

Earlier in the day, Mary Tarnowka also met with Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs Huynh Duc Truong from the People’s Committee of Da Nang, who visited to thank us for our support of U.S. trade and investment in Da Nang and to plan for joint programs in Da Nang in 2020.

This week, Mary Tarnowka traveled to Hanoi to participate in a private-sector roundtable discussion on Vietnam’s draft PPP law coordinated by VCCI, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and AmCham.  AmCham members, including LNT Partner and Founder Le Net, had the opportunity to share their views with global PPP expert and Harvard Professor Akash Deep and Fulbright School of Public Policy Dean and Prime Minister Economic Adviser Vu Thanh Tu Anh, prior to their high-level meetings this week on the draft PPP law with senior Vietnamese officials.  Mary also met with VCCI Chairman Dr. Loc to raise other key advocacy concerns of AmCham members that we hope can be resolved in the lead up to the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) meeting with the Prime Minister in early January.  One of the issues she shared was a position paper advanced earlier in the month to the State Bank of Vietnam from our ICT committee on the introduction of foreign ownership limits to the fast-growing payments and fintech sector which, if enacted, will significantly restrict the ability of Vietnamese fintech startups to raise institutional capital from foreign investors. The position paper addresses the current draft decree amending Decree 101 that imposes a foreign-ownership cap which may drive out current innovation and prevent others from coming.

Looking forward to 2020!

We are already making plans for early 2020 before the Tet holiday. On January 10, 2020, I am honored to present the joint paper for the HCMC and Hanoi AmCham chapters at the annual VBF as the National Chairwoman of AmCham Vietnam. Our AmCham submission to the VBF is now being finalized with our Hanoi chapter, based on member concerns raised largely through our committees. This session’s focus is on identifying sustainability efforts and innovation opportunities to take Vietnam into the fourth industrial revolution.  The following week will continue on that theme as we launch our  Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative with an interactive workshop on January 14 with a design thinking interactive event led by an innovation firm in Ho Chi Minh City. Later that day, we will be launching the Capital Markets Committee at an event to bring together industry members to network, share business insights, and identify issues for advocacy.

We will also welcome our new and returning board members for our first meeting of 2020 and planned strategy session to identify top objectives and initiatives for the coming year.  As always, we are interested in your ideas and feedback on how we can improve the Chamber, so please reach out to anyone on the board as we undertake our planning next month.

Membership – Renewal & New Members

Renew Your Membership TODAY for special savings

For many of you, it’s time to renew your membership for 2020 and continue your involvement in AmCham, with opportunities for networking, information-sharing, advocacy to improve the business environment, and promotion of your business. Your calendar year renewal can be renewed for 2020 with the 2019 membership price–so act now and pay before December 31, 2019 for this savings opportunity.

Do not forget to update your company profile online and for printing in the 2020 Membership Directory  when you renew.
Contact Ms. Sam Hoang  with any questions.

New members

On December 10th, we welcomed several new AmCham members prior to our AGM at another AmCham 101 session. We were pleased with the turn-out, and our Executive Director Mary and Membership Manager Sam are always excited to meet and share all the opportunities in person with new members.

This month, we welcome the following new members:
Bronze Premium Member:  TH Group
Corporate Members:  Amorepacific Vietnam, Areco Realty Company (Maihouse Hotels & Resorts), Dong Thai Company, ILA Vietnam, KalaPress Vietnam, ILA Vietnam, Lab Group International Vietnam, Lab Group International Vietnam, Northstar Precision Vietnam
Senior Professional Member:  Mr. Larry Lane

Again, thank you for your support in 2019!  Wishing you a Happy Holiday and joyful New Year.

With Best Regards,
Amanda Rasmussen
Chairwoman

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
Chairwoman

Message from the Chair – October 2019

October has been an active month at AmCham Vietnam – including a successful Supplier Day, robust committee and business events, and on-going advocacy activities surrounding potential changes to laws affecting many of our members. And, as our new Executive Director completes her second month with AmCham, Mary Tarnowka continues to canvas the membership, as well as participate in many business events, to open doors to existing and new members and opportunities for the HCMC chapter.  It is an exciting time for the organization.

AmCham HCMC Supplier Day

AmCham’s HCMC Supplier Day was a huge success, with over 100 exhibitors and 600 visitors at full day including interactive workshops with experts to explore, establish, and expand supply chain business partnerships.  This event marked AmCham’s 6th Supplier Day, organized in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Link SME project, and along with many member corporate sponsorships to help facilitate partnerships between Vietnamese and foreign firms and support the integration of small and medium-sized businesses into Vietnamese and global supply chains.

Advocacy

AmCham’s HR Committee continues to press advocacy on the proposed Draft Labor Code in advance of the current session of the National Assembly. In the past month alone, AmCham has joined in many meetings with decision-makers and other associations, and jointly signed a position letter with several business associations and another chamber on several important issues directed to the provincial delegations of the National Assembly. Some of those meetings included the National Assembly HCMC Delegation and VCCI National Employers’ Conference on Oct 14.

On other proposed draft legislation, members of AmCham’s Legal Committee this past month drafted a position paper which AmCham HCMC issued to the Vietnam government on reducing administrative requirements related to cosmetics, including proposals on premarket approvals and requirements related to importing cosmetics into Vietnam. This position paper was followed by participation at a CIEM (Central Institute for Economic Management) event in HCMC on October 24th.

In addition to the committee-generated advocacy work, AmCham Vietnam is involved in other organizations with advocacy and issue-raising on trade and investment in Vietnam. As one of the founding chambers, AmCham participates in the Vietnam Business Forum, and members participate in several working groups to continuously keep dialogue on several advocacy and administrative reform measures to improve the business climate in Vietnam. AmCham also is a member of APCAC, which issued its policy report as part of the annual July “Doorknock” in Washington D.C. A blueprint of policy proposals also comes in from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which issued a report on the U.S. government’s opportunities with Vietnam to improve trade and investment ties.

Upcoming Events

The rest of 2019 will continue to be busy with business and committee meetings, as well as signature AmCham events. Be sure not to miss anything by often checking our online calendar.  Please also keep mind these special events:

New Members 

We continue to welcome new members all year long.  As such, we are holding a new-member (“AmCham 101”) orientation on November 11th  with E.D. Mary Tarnowka. This special invitation-only event is for members who have recently joined in the past few months. Contact Sam Hoang for more information.

We thank the following new members:

Corporate Members: American Eye Center Vietnam, Anh Duong Company, Hertz Vietnam, Gia Thuy Company (GT-Industrial), Georgetown University, Mekong Capital, Shire Oak International Limited, Tenzing Pacific Services Vietnam, Therm-x SVT, Varian Medical Systems Pacific Inc., Vietnamese-German University

In the next month, those representatives with membership on the calendar year will receive renewal notices for AmCham Vietnam HCMC membership.  We hope you will renew, and stay active and engaged in AmCham. Special offers will apply for members renewing by December 31st.

We are striving every day to make AmCham Vietnam an inclusive, diverse and dynamic chamber! Thank you for your engagement and support!

 

With Best Regards,
Amanda Rasmussen
Chairwoman

Message from the Chair – September 2019

Our business and advocacy efforts have been in full swing this month!  We opened September with a successful National Conference and Networking weekend.  Our committees have also been very active with information sharing and advocacy, including significant efforts by AmCham’s HR committee on the revised Labor Code.  We were also privileged to welcome Consul General Marie Damour to Ho Chi Minh City at a special dinner event with our members and guests.

National Conference Recap

On September 6th & 7th, we had a record turn-out for the annual National Conference and Networking Weekend, hosted this year in HCMC.  We kicked off the weekend with a reception with U.S. Ambassador Kritenbrink, Consul General Damour, members of the U.S. Mission and AmCham members from both chapters HCMC and Hanoi at historic Salon Saigon.

Saturday morning provided a rare opportunity for a tour of the Consulate General grounds.  A networking lunch at East West Brewing Co. began the conference, and moved on to the InterContinental Saigon with a full afternoon of workshop and break-out sessions co-lead by key U.S. Mission officers and AmCham Board members in participation with many AmCham members. The AmCham HCMC and Hanoi boards finished the business of the day with the annual joint meeting.

The Weekend was capped off with AmCham’s Taste of America dinner Saturday evening at Grain Cooking Studio, where guests enjoyed American spirits, wines and beverages paired with a menu created and led by four U.S. chefs who shared their stories and dishes over live cooking demonstrations. The weekend would not have been possible without the time and contributions of the U.S. Mission Vietnam, AmCham boards and members, and our sponsors!  On behalf of the Board of Governors, thank you!

Information Sharing and Advocacy

Sharing knowledge and representation on issues are at the heart of what AmCham does for its members. The past month has been very active with events including:

AmCham’s HR committee has been very active on information sharing and advocacy on the revised Labor Code, as the National Assembly 8th Session will review this draft and vote in October-November 2019.  The committee participated on September 18th in a workshop held by the Central Institute for Economic Management. Many specialists from these fields attended to share their opinions and proposals for the Draft. There was also participation from industry and business associations, who raised practical problems stemming from changes to the Draft. Additional work is on-going and planned for the rest of this month and October leading up to the upcoming legislative session.

Board Elections—Call for Recommendations!

The Nominating Committee is seeking recommendations for candidates for the Board of Governors in HCMC.  Voting AmCham members may recommend themselves or another person.

There are 9 positions open on the Board for the next two-year term, Jan 2020 – Dec 2021.

See the attached link for who may recommend/be recommended, the process for recommending and formal nomination, and other important information.  Recommendations may be made through Friday, October, 18, 2019.

Upcoming Events

Am Cham Supplier Day 2019 in Ho Chi Minh City is set for October 16th, and is organized in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It aims to facilitate supplier-buyer relationships between Vietnamese and foreign firms and integrate small and medium-sized businesses into global supply chains. The all-day event is at the Adora Center in HCMC, and will feature workshops, exhibitors and opportunities to match suppliers with manufacturers, supply chains and logistics.

One of our biggest events of the year is our celebration dinner marking AmCham’s 25th year in Vietnam. Please join us as a sponsor and/or guest on Thursday, November 7th. The planning committee is underway to make this celebration special. Watch for updated information on the event and sponsorship packages.

Save the Dates! We are also busy planning other events including our popular Governors’ Ball on December 7th and the Annual General Meeting on December 10th.  Watch for announcements soon on those event details.

New Members 

We welcome the following new corporate and professional members to AmCham:

Corporate Members: Anh Duong Company, Apectrans JSC, Becamex Tokyu Company, Ceva Logistics Company Limited, Covestro (Vietnam) Company, Hong Ky Company, Hung Hau Agriculture Corporation, Long Thanh Plastic Company, Luong Nguyen Services Company – Genki Japan House, Mapletree Vietnam Management, Nu-Star Inc., Saigon Asset Management (SAM), Saigon Psychology, TCPVN Company Limited, Teibto LLC, Toptour Travel Company.

Senior Professional Member: Mr. Barry Clark

As we approach the final quarter of the year, we continue to encourage you to stay involved with AmCham. If you have yet to make connections or need help finding the right fit, let your Board members or the AmCham staff know how we can improve your experience. It is your AmCham!

Thank you!

With Best Regards,
Amanda Rasmussen
Chairwoman

Message From The Chair – August 2019

By now, I hope you have heard our big news that Mary Tarnowka, the former U.S. Consul General to Vietnam, has joined AmCham Vietnam as its new Executive Director in Ho Chi Minh City.

Mary’s experience in both the private sector and foreign service, including the past three years serving as one of the top leaders of Vietnam’s U.S. Mission, will provide AmCham with invaluable insight and opportunities to improve trade and investment of and between Vietnam and the U.S.  We are thrilled Mary will lead our organization to improve the business climate and advocacy channels for all our members.

Mary Tarnowka

Please join me and the Board of Governors in welcoming Mary aboard at a special members-only Meet and Greet mixer on Thursday, August 22 at the Caravelle Hotel.  This event is reserved for AmCham members to provide for an intimate forum to welcome Mary to the AmCham Vietnam family.  Be sure to register in advance: https://www.amchamvietnam.com/events/welcome-mary-member-networking-mixer-with-amchams-new-executive-director/

Last month, several of our board members and committee leaders attended the annual Washington D.C. “DoorKnock” for several days of meetings organized by the Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC). Our participating board members heard from and had opportunities to question and dialogue with top U.S. officials, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, members of the Office of the President, Department of Treasury, Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture, and over a half dozen U.S. congress members, including Senator Rand Paul and Representative Ted Yoho.  Our HCMC delegation also met separately with the Vietnam Trade Office, Ministry of Industry and Trade and members of the Embassy of Vietnam while in D.C.  It was a productive time and our attending members worked hard to make our business voices heard in the U.S., as well as bring home the perspectives of U.S. leaders and other AmCham chapters from around the Asia Pacific.

If you’d like to hear more about what we learned during the D.C. DoorKnock, attend our Update on China Trade War and Impact on Vietnam-Report from Washington on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at the InterContinental Saigon Hotel. https://www.amchamvietnam.com/events/update-on-china-trade-war-and-impact-on-vietnam-report-from-washington-august-2019/.  Board Members Walter Blocker, Hang Nguyen and Mark Gillin will share their insights and news from D.C., as moderated by our new E.D. Mary Tarnowka.

 

Thank you!

I wish to thank all of our members who participated in our member survey in June and July.  We received invaluable feedback—what you like, what we can improve upon and where we can grow.  Please look in the coming weeks for a short summary of those results.  We have heard you and want to make AmCham Vietnam the best it can be!

Upcoming Events

Don’t miss out on one of the only times a year where AmCham of HCMC and Hanoi come together for meeting, planning and socializing. AmCham Vietnam’s National Retreat will be held in Ho Chi Minh City September 6th-7th. The weekend includes roundtable discussions and social events with U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink, new U.S. Consul General Marie Damour, and other top members of the U.S. Mission, as well as your fellow AmCham Vietnam members. https://www.amchamvietnam.com/events/welcome-dinner-for-new-us-consulate-general/
We also look forward to welcoming the new U.S. Consul General Marie Damour at a special dinner on September 19th. Also save the date for AmCham’s 25th Anniversary dinner scheduled for November 7th. We are looking for member sponsorship of both of these important events. Check our website and future communications about the details and registration details of these and other important events.
The coming months will be very busy with many committee activities, business events, as well as some of our signature annual events. Please check our website calendar often so you don’t miss out!

New Members and Thank You Premium Members

We are very excited to welcome our recently new and rejoined Members:
Bronze Premium Member: Family Lawyers
Corporate Members: ADCREW Company, Al Naboodah International, Archer Daniels Midland Vietnam (ADM), Bayer Vietnam, Beervana Vietnam, Ceva Logistics Vietnam Company, Elek Company, Mapletree Vietnam Management, Phong Vu Trading – Service Company, Raybar Group Company, TCPVN Company Limited, Toptour Travel Vietnam Company, Universal Alloy Corporation Vietnam Company, Viettel HCMC – Viettel Group, Woman Talk Business Company, Zettler Vietnam
Individual Member: Ms. Julianne Cowley
Young Professional Members: Mr. Dan Fernandes, Ms. Julia Kuo
As the summer holidays wind down, we look forward to a robust season of AmCham Vietnam activities under Mary’s leadership. Thank you again to loyal and new members for your engagement in and support of AmCham Vietnam. We have had 25 years of amazing growth that has shaped and created what we are today, with an exciting future ahead. Here’s to new beginnings!
Thank you!
With Best Regards,

Amanda Rasmussen
Chairwoman

Message From The Chair – July 2019

What a celebration! AmCham Vietnam and over 900 of its members and guests kicked off the month with our signature “4th of July” holiday all-day celebration. Thanks to the great support from over 100 sponsors, our 25th annual US Independence Day Celebration & Family Picnic was great success. All aspects of the day contributed to the real feeling of an American-style July 4th holiday.

In addition to this signature event, AmCham has continued to lead with advocacy activities. On June 26, AmCham Board Member Mark Gillin addressed political leaders, business associations and other delegates at the mid-term Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) in Hanoi. AmCham’s joint HCMC-Hanoi Chapters’ statement focused on promoting a more sustainable and growing business environment for our members in Vietnam. The VBF provides a forum between the Vietnam government and private sector to promote the development of trade and investment and conducts bi-annual meetings and other working group dialogues through-out the year. Several AmCham working-groups participated in the mid-term dialogue, as well as through-out the year on many critical areas affecting the business environment.

The past month has also included many AmCham committee and business meetings:
  • With the new Competition Law to take effect from July 1, 2019, LNT & Partner held an information sharing event for AmCham Members on June 13, 2019.
  • On June 20, AmCham partnered with Aetna to organize a special event focusing on “Mental Wellness” with a robust speaker panel and yoga.
  • On July 9, AmCham’s ICT committee (co-hosted with BBGV and SBG) held “Digital Transformations—Less Hype More Practicality”, with a panel of five industry experts who shared practical examples of this transformation in various sectors and ways to get started and how to stay current.
  • The Legal Committee continues to lead with advocacy efforts and information sharing, with meetings on July 9 and 11th.
  • This month’s Manufacturing Committee July 10 meeting, members had an update on “Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership” (CPTPP), including the CPTTP’s impact on business in Vietnam.
  • HR Officers attended a June 25 HR Committee meeting with the topic “Design Thinking”, where participants joined an interactive forum to identify solutions for their current HR related issues.

On a topic that affects most businesses in Vietnam, the HR Committee will have an important update on notable changes proposed in the Draft Revised Labor Code and a quick view on labor provisions that have been ratified in the newly signed EVFTA. Our speakers from Baker & McKenzie will present the overview of those updates that may impact your business in Vietnam.

Please register in advance to make sure you have a seat: https://www.amchamvietnam.com/events/hr-committee-july-meeting-for-amcham-members-only/

AmCham committees continue to lead by the leaders of member companies. Beside advocacy and technical meetings, business monthly sessions are very helpful for members to participant to get update on new regulations or network with other professionals.We encourage members to get involved to get the most out of your membership!

Upcoming Events

Several members of our Board of Governors and committee leaders have represented AmCham Vietnam at the annual Washington D.C. “Doorknock” where they have attended programming the Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC) from July 14-18. AmCham Vietnam has met “with U.S. and Vietnamese trade and policy makers during their visit to the US Capital.

Please save the date for AmCham’s National Retreat in Ho Chi Minh City September 6th – 8th. We also look forward to welcoming the new Consul General Marie Damour at a special dinner on September 19th. Check our website and future communications about the details and registration details of these important events.

New Members and Thank You Premium Members

We are very excited to welcome our recently new and rejoined Corporate Members: Alta Planning + Design Singapore Pte, Bao Minh Ong Lang Limited Company, Vu Thien Hoang Phuc Company, Enterprise Rent-a-car Vietnam, Hong Ky Company.

Thank you to our members who have participated in the AmCham Survey that was emailed to members in early June. We have extending the time another few weeks–If you haven’t completed the survey, I ask that you take the few minutes to give us this feedback. The survey will close on July 23.

Thank you!

With Best Regards,

Amanda Rasmussen
Chairwoman

Message From The Chair – June 2019

Dear AmCham Members,

June is the first month of summer in the United States–the day light is longer across most of the U.S., schools are out, and yet the days always seemed to go by quickly…and before you know it, we are celebrating the 4th of July Independence holiday! AmCham Vietnam has been hosting its own special U.S. Independence Day events for a quarter century—be sure to get your tickets to this year’s event happening June 29, 2019 in HCMC, District 2. You won’t want to miss a taste of America’s 4th of July traditions!

The past month has continued to be a vibrant time for AmCham, including many advocacy efforts lead by our committees and other business events, including an inspiring business outlook dinner with our U.S. Ambassador in early June. I am also proud of the CSR activities of AmCham and its members. I’m pleased to report an overview of some of these highlights from the past 30 days and look ahead to some upcoming events.

AmCham’s committees have been hard at work on very important advocacy issues related to proposed laws and newly enacted regulations. The efforts of the Human Resources (HR), Food and Beverages Sector (FBSC) and Direct Selling (AVDSC) Committees resulted in the release of four position papers on various topics in the past 30 days:

  • AmCham FBSC submitted its Comments on Draft 3 of the circular guiding some articles of Decree 43/2007 on good label to General Department of Standards, Measures and Quality Control. The Committees raised 09 concerns of the current guidance of the Draft 3 of the circular, stated the difficulties that companies have to face and proposed solutions for each concern.
  • AmCham FBSC also raised the concerns over Notice No. 1234/TB-ATTP dated 19 April 2019 and Draft Circular guiding good manufacturing practices (GMP) during production and trading of health/dietary supplements.
  • AmCham AVDSC submitted its position paper to Phu Tho People’s Committee and DoIT to raise the concern on the procedure of multi-level sale activities registration in accordance with decree 40/2018/ND-CP.

Other committees have also been leading the way with advocacy efforts, such as the AmCham Power & Energy Committee who has released its Made in Vietnam Energy Plan 2.0 2020-2030 (MVEP 2.), which provides recommendations for use of Vietnam’s domestic energy for the short and long term. The AmCham Board thanks the strong committee leadership and efforts of many of our industry-expert members. Many of these issues will be raised by AmCham, as well as several of our working groups, at the mid-year Vietnam Business Forum, scheduled for June 26, 2019 in Hanoi.

AmCham also hosted several business and committee topics over the past 30 days, to include the impact of the U.S.-China trade dispute (co-hosted with member KPMG); an update on Criminal Law as it impacts foreigners (lead by LE & TRAN, Mr. Stephen Le); a robust introduction to Intelligence Augmentation (IA) by the Logistics and Supply Chain committee and representatives of Yedda; and an overview of the newly implemented Competition Law by LNT & Partners. AmCham’s Women in Leadership Committee also hosted a committee planning round-table in May and a Women’s Empowerment Social in June with programming by Dr. Astrid Matarrita-Chinchilla.

I am also very proud of ongoing CSR efforts lead by AmCham and its members. On June 7, AmCham in cooperation with Intel Products Vietnam, Coca-Cola Vietnam, Axcela Vietnam organized the 9th AmCham Women in Engineering Scholarship Award Ceremony. The scholarship purposes are to encourage and support female students to study in science and engineering fields and to pursue technical careers. During the period of 8 years, the program has successfully awarded 315 scholarships for female engineering students in HCMC and Da Nang.

Another on-going CSR effort is our World Blood Donor Days. With the theme “Safe Blood For All”, this year AmCham, BBGV and Hospital of Hematology and Blood Transfusion have organized blood drives at 9 different locations from June 10 to June 20, 2019. It is efforts of the business community, including of our partners and members, that gives AmCham great pride in helping supply safe blood to those in need, which contributes to a stronger community and health in Vietnam.

Finally, one of our most anticipated events this past month was our Business Outlook dinner on June 6th with U.S. Ambassador Daniel J. Kritenbrink who shared his insight on the economic climate and political relations of Vietnam and the United States.

Thank you again to the U.S. Mission, InterContinental Saigon, our participating members and our sponsors for an incredible evening:

Gold Sponsors: Becamex Hospitality Company Limited (our new member for 2 months); and our long-term members: Coca-Cola Beverages (25 years), Suntory Pepsico (25 years), The Grand Ho Tram Strip (9 years), Vietnam Waste Solutions (10 years).

Silver Sponsors: Green Speed Company (4 years), ITL Corporation (3 years).

Bronze Sponsors: AETNA (5 years), America Indochina Management Ltd. (18 years), Baker & McKenzie (Vietnam) Ltd. (25 years), Diversatek (9 years), Streets International Inc. (2 years), Pfizer (15 years).

Upcoming Events

One of the most celebrated U.S. holidays is almost here! We look forward to celebrating with many of you on June 29th our U.S. Independence Day with our AmCham members, families and friends. This will be the 25th year of AmCham’s 4th of July celebration and family picnic. All-in-one tickets are on sale now. It is a fantastic celebration, with many favorite USA holiday foods and entertainment.

Upcoming next month two members of our Board of Governors will represent AmCham Vietnam at the annual Washington D.C. “Door Knock” where they will attend programming the Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC) from July 14-18. Representatives from the different AMCHAMS of the Asia Pacific region will meet face to face with senior policy makers and members of Congress to discuss issues affecting U.S. business in the region. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Cindy Tran by July 5, 2019 at [email protected].

New Members and Thank You Premium Members

We are very excited to welcome our recently new and rejoined Corporate Members: ANZ Bank, Austin Labs (MyStorage.vn), Cimigo Sole Member LLC, Construction Joint Stock Company No. 1 (COFICO), Dilinh Legal, Platinum Global Company Limited, Phan Law Vietnam, Ranpak Pte Ltd, Vietsway.
Individual Member: Mr. Andy Tran

AmCham very much appreciates Coca-Cola, Suntory PepsiCo, Intel, and Truong Phat for their continuous being our Premium Members.

We know that June is busy for many of our members before summer holiday plans, but please complete the AmCham Survey that was emailed to members in early June. If you haven’t completed the survey, I ask that you take the few minutes to give us this feedback. The survey will close on June 21.

Thank you and “Happy 4th of July”!

With Best Regards,

Amanda Rasmussen
Chairwoman

Message From The Chair – May 2019

Dear AmCham Members,

April and early May have been a very busy time for AmCham and its members.  We have continued our efforts to forge relationships and partnerships within both the U.S. and Vietnam governments.  Our business programing and committee work have also remained robust.  I am pleased to report on a few of the highlights of the past month and look ahead to some upcoming events.

Our efforts to strengthen our connection with the U.S. government’s interest and development in Vietnam included welcoming the U.S. Congressional Staff Delegation on April 18, 2019. AmCham Board Members welcomed this delegation of 10 assistants to U.S. Senators and congressmen from the Democrat and Republican parties on their working visit to Vietnam.  AmCham shared with the delegation the opportunities and challenges in doing business here.

As for new partnerships in Vietnam, AmCham’s Food & Beverage committee entered into an important Memorandum of Understanding with the Vietnam Standards and Quality Institute, under STAMEQ, to build new Vietnam Quality Standards which focus on the food and beverage category.  The MOU was signed on May 10 in Hanoi during the U.S.-Vietnam Business Summit.  As part of that agreement, AmCham’s F&B committee will work with VSQI to support workshops and other ways to promote these standards.  One such joint workshop with STAMEQ, which took place April 24, prior to the formal MOU signing, was held on “Consultation on the Draft of Circular on Guidelines for good labels”.  I was honored to welcome over 160 participants to that event where 16 issues were addressed. Click for full speech here; For more about both events click HERE.

Of course, our business seminars and committees meeting opportunities also provided insight and value.  Some of those included:

  • On April 25th we welcomed Mr. Jimmy Thai, speaker and U.S. business leader originally from Vietnam, on the topic “How to win and lose contracts with America Companies.” The attendees heard several case studies with solutions for Vietnamese companies to in terms of culture and opportunities with American companies.
  • AmCham also saw the launch the newly-formed Agriculture committee, which met on May 13, with member interest to focus on two advocacy issues related to wheat importation into Vietnam from the U.S. and African Swine Fever (ASF) in Vietnam.
  • Several other AmCham committees have been very active on advocacy related to tax issues and the new draft Labor Amended Labor Code, for which an AmCham Position paper is set for release.

In addition to many business topics and events, AmCham members also had fun together.  On May 4th, over 130 members and their guests participated in the 2nd Annual AmCham’s Cinco De Mayo Fiesta. All had a great networking time and enjoyed fabulous Mexican food and drinks.

Upcoming Events

AmCham is excited to offer two unique opportunities in the next month to engage with U.S. and local HCMC officials.

The first is a dinner on June 6th for U.S. Ambassador Daniel J. Kritenbrink and Consul General Mary Tarnowka, who will be transitioning out of her role in July. Ambassador Kritenbrink will share insight on the economic climate and political relations, and will also recognize Mary Tarnowka on her accomplishments as Consul General during her tenure.  I encourage you to secure your place soon–tickets for the evening event (to be held at the Intercontinental Hotel, which also include a four-course meal, free-flow beverages and live music), are selling now; and with various sponsorship packages offered, there are several ways to gain additional benefits from the event. Click HERE for event information.

We are also pleased to offer an opportunity to participate in a half-day meeting with HCMC City Leaders in June (date to be informed).  We have gathered several issues from our committees on opportunities and challenges that AmCham companies are encountering in HCMC and plan to present those as part of renewed engagement with the City leadership. This meeting is open to AmCham members only.

We also look forward to celebrating on June 29th our U.S. Independence Day with AmCham members, families and friends. This will be the 25th year of AmCham’s 4th of July celebration and family picnic. All-in-one tickets are on sale now.

The next month will also continue with many AmCham committee and business seminars, and I invite you to regularly check with your Committee chairs and the AmCham website as new opportunities are added every week.  Click HERE to see our Calendar. Of specific note, Women in Leadership (another new committee) will host its planning meeting on May 28.  If you or a woman in your organization is interested in planning the mission, events and programming, please RSVP and join in shaping this important initiative. See Committees page HERE.

And as a reminder: Although committee participation and meetings are limited to AmCham members, please note that Company AmCham members can involve any employee of their organization to join in committees, as participation is not limited to the named Company representative members.

New Members and Thank You Premium Members

We are very excited to welcome our new and recently joined Corporate Members: Cimigo Sole Member LLC, Construction Joint Stock Company No. 1 (COFICO), Cuchi Shipping Co., LTD.; Hill Risk Consulting (Thailand) Ltd; Holiday Inn & Suites Saigon Airport; LMG (World Luxury Mattress Gallery Company Limited); Platinum Global Company Limited, Tiki Corporation.

AmCham very much appreciates Coca-Cola, Suntory PepsiCo, Intel, and Truong Phat for their continuous being our Premium Members.

Please watch in the coming weeks for an AmCham Survey as we seek to check-in with our members on the benefits and ways we can improve our Chamber.  I ask that you take the few minutes to give us this feedback.   But also know, the Board and Staff at AmCham are always ready to hear your comments, suggestions, and ideas to strengthen the Chamber. Please get involved and we hope to see you at our events soon!

With Best Regards,

Amanda Rasmussen
Chairwoman

Message From The Chair – March 2019

Dear AmCham Members,

Firstly I would like to share that I am honored and grateful for the privilege to serve as this year’s Chairwoman of AmCham Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City Chapter and National Chair for AmCham Vietnam. AmCham has long been a staple in the business community in Vietnam, and we are very excited to celebrate our 25th Anniversary this year along with continuing our focus on our 3 pillars of value creation for our members – Networking, Information Sharing & Advocacy.

2019 is off to a busy start! We have already held many events with active participation from our members and have many more planned upcoming. Below are a few key highlights.

On Mar 7, 2019, AmCham was very pleased to host the “Members Night and Meet the U.S. Consulate” evening for more than 100 participants. Besides welcoming new members and networking with U.S. Consulate officers, we also had an outstanding presentation regarding our Committees delivered by our BOG members. The Committees are a driving force of AmCham especially with respect to advocacy across several industries. We heavily encourage our members to join to share and exchange information, concerns or issues they are currently facing. To learn more about our Committees, please click this link: https://www.amchamvietnam.com/amcham-committees/

On Mar 14, 2019, with the support from Lexcomm, AmCham successfully organized the business lunch entitled “Liquefied Natural Gas: Financing Vietnam’s Large-scale Multibillion-dollar Greenfield LNG Projects”. The event attracted more than 60 AmCham members and guests. The presentation from Mr. Pham Ba Linh, Managing Partner of Lexcomm, highlighted the critical points of Vietnam’s energy security, exploration and production capacity and trends.

We also had some fun – in connection with International Women’s Day on May 8th, the AmCham HR Committee hosted a special event on May 5th, “Beauty Tips for Professional Women”. The speaker from John Robert Powers, Ms. Sylvia Pengson, shared some exciting topics like style tips for empowered professionals, power dressing essentials and elements of personal branding. Likewise AmCham announced its new Committee “Women in Leadership” on the eve of International Women’s Day, for more information, please click this link: https://www.amchamvietnam.com/women-in-leadership-committee/

Please also remember to join us at the March Palooza at Q Bar on March 27th in District 2, please follow this link to register: https://www.amchamvietnam.com/events/190327-amcham-palooza-party/. We are looking forward to seeing you all there for another exciting networking evening and the first time we hold the event in D2. Please join us!

Last but never least, we are very excited to welcome our new and recently joined members; Corporate Members: Boustead Projects Land; Caleres Inc (Leeway International); Connect Company; Dan On Foods Corporation; Dentsply Sirona Vietnam Co. Ltd.; Ecolab Vietnam; Enterline & Partners Company Limited; Evolve Mobility; FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage (Vietnam) Company Limited; Gaw NP Industrial JSC; Hotel Majestic Saigon; Institute of American Education; International School Ho Chi Minh City – American Academy; Kelsey Consulting M&A JSC; Legal House & Partners; Minor Hotels – Vietnam; Nexif Energy Management Pte.; Pillow Kingdom Inc.; RSM Vietnam; SCE Project Asia; The St.Nicholas International School; Viet International Company; Vinpearl JSC; Ms. Tram Bao Ngoc Ho – Young Professional Member.

As we close towards the end of the first quarter of the year, please don’t forget to maximize your benefits as an AmCham member such as:

– 3 free announcements in the AmCham Weekly Update Email per year, and member rates for advertising online

– Company profile updated on AmCham website for convenient referral

– Enhanced number of representatives per company member, each company can register 5 representatives instead of 2 as in previous years

As always, the Board and Staff at AmCham are always ready to hear your comments, suggestions, and ideas to strengthen the Chamber. Please get involved and we hope to see you at our events soon!

With Best Regards,

Amanda Rasmussen
Chairwoman