Vietnam Airlines to launch direct flights to USA

The carrier would begin with four flights a week to Los Angeles and later daily flights to the West Coast, which is home to a large Vietnamese-American community.

Direct services are expected to cater to the large demand for travel between the two countries. The number of Americans visiting Vietnam grew by 11.9 percent last year to 687,000, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

An ethnic Vietnamese population of over 2.1 million in the U.S. is also expected to be a steady source of travel demand, industry insiders said.


ANA expands links to Southeast Asia with PAL investment

TOKYO — ANA plans to acquire a 10% stake in PAL Holdings, the parent company of Philippine Airlines, in a deal valued at 10 billion yen ($91 million). The investment in the Philippines’ largest carrier would follow ANA’s acquisition of an 8.8% stake in Vietnam Airlines in 2016 as the Japanese airline moves to gain footholds in faster-growing markets. ANA seeks to cater to the rising number of Southeast Asian business people and tourists visiting Japan. Read more

Theodore Osius, 2018 Board of Governors Biographic information

Ted Osius
Ambassador (ret.)
Vice President, Fulbright University Vietnam

Former Ambassador Ted Osius joined the leadership team of Fulbright University Vietnam in January 2018. He retired from the State Department in 2017 after nearly thirty years as a diplomat. From 2014 to 2017, he served as U.S. ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. During his tenure, he devised and implemented strategies to deepen security ties, sign tens of billions worth of commercial deals, expand educational exchange, and pin down agreements on trade, law enforcement, environmental protection, and addressing honestly a difficult past. Ambassador Osius’ leadership helped bring about a transformation in U.S.-Vietnam relations.

Earlier, Ambassador Osius was associate professor at the National War College and Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Political Minister-Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India. Ambassador Osius also served as deputy director of the Office of Korean Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, regional environment officer for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, and senior advisor on international affairs at the Office of the Vice President.

Early in his career, Ambassador Osius helped open the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City and was one of the first U.S. diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he worked in the Office of U.S. Senator Al Gore, and as a presidential intern at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He received an Honorary Doctorate from Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education.

Ambassador Osius serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce Vietnam. He chairs the Education Committee, which seeks to boost educational innovation for the betterment of Vietnamese society. Ambassador Osius loves travel, biking, sailing, theater and photography. He is married to Clayton Alan Bond; the couple has a three-year-old daughter and four-year-old son.

Michael Kelly, 2018 Board of Governors Biographic information

Michael Kelly
Ho Tram Project Company

Michael serves as the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, CEO and General Director of Asia Coast Development Ltd and the Ho Tram Project Company. The Ho Tram Project Company wholly owns and operates The Grand Ho Tram Strip (most awarded hotel/resort in Vietnam) and the Bluffs Golf Course (ranked #74 in the World) in Ba Ria – Vung Tau province. The project is the largest foreign tourism project in Vietnam with approximately $1 billion deployed and committed to date. The Grand is also the largest private equity investment in Vietnam to date.

Michael has approximately 30 years of experience in the hospitality/casino industry in both the private and public sectors and has served as the CEO, COO and/or CFO of some of the largest hospitality companies in the United States. Prior to relocating fulltime to Vietnam in 2015, Michael owned and operated two integrated resorts in North America. He earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Villanova University (USA).

He strongly supports the government’s desire to increase foreign direct investment into the country and to grow tourism to approximately 10 percent of GDP over the near future. Michael says it has been an honor to serve as AmCham Vice Chair this year and he looks forward to working with AmCham members to further foster and deepen the economic, social and business ties between Vietnam and the United States.

Asian Economic Forum – Vietnam 2018

AmCham Vietnam has teamed up with the Asian Economic Forum to bring the first Asian Economic Forum to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Friday, December 07th, 2018.

AmCham Scholarship 2018 – Management Team

The AmCham Scholarship Program 2018 is managed by the AmCham Scholarship Management Team:


Scholarship Lead
Ms. Dinh Doan Thanh Trang
PR Lead
Mr. Huynh Ngoc Nhon
Sponsorship Lead
Ms. Nguyen Thanh Cat Anh


PR Team: Ms. Ngo Yen Ngoc – AmCham Scholar 2016
Event Team: Mr. Nguyen Quang Tu – AmCham Scholar 2016
Process Team: Ms. Nguyen Thi Hoa Binh – AmCham Scholar 2016

Vietnamese Update to Border Rules Takes Page From NAFTA

Below are highlights from a short article from Bloomberg about this first special consultations event, on Jan 24.


  •  Ho Chi Minh City moving toward more voluntary compliance with export-import procedures
  •  City will work to make border processes more efficient by cutting storage costs, inspections

By Lien Hoang


Vietnamese customs officials, newly vested with more autonomy from the national government, have pledged better conditions for businesses while drawing some inspiration from the U.S., where Vietnam has one of the biggest trade surpluses.

Ho Chi Minh City leaders signaled Jan. 24 they are moving toward more voluntary compliance with export-import procedures, a style of U.S. enforcement that emerged from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Đình Ngọc Thắng, the city’s deputy customs chief, adopted the language of his U.S. counterparts who advocate “informed compliance” and “shared responsibility,” by which customs authorities supply more legal information to traders, who then take greater initiative to meet their legal duties.

Gone are the days of “general dialogue and no follow-up,” which leaves both the government and business dissatisfied, Thang told the American Chamber of Commerce in Ho Chi Minh City.“Our motto is still that we are partners,” he said.

Still in Pacific Trade Pact

His department’s actions have national implications, as the city once known as Saigon is the biggest contributor to the national budget, raising more than a quarter of revenues. It handles more than half of all shipping containers that pass through the Southeast Asian country, data from the Vietnam Port Association show.

Many of the products on those ships end up in the U.S., the largest export market for Vietnam. Among countries that have a trade surplus with the U.S., Vietnam ranks No. 5 as of November, up from No. 6 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Red Tape

In hopes of boosting trade, Thang said his office would work to make border processes more efficient, such as by cutting storage costs and inspections. Under official Plan No. 151 published Jan. 12, the department will establish a hotline and strive to trim clearance times for exports to 70 hours (from 108) and for imports to 90 hours (from 138).

“We are committed to minimizing paperwork requirements, to minimize time and cost,” Thang said. “The ultimate goal is to reduce cost, including opportunity costs.”

But red tape lingers. Vietnam, for example, is supposed to accept both paper and digital forms from importers and exporters. AmCham senior director for trade facilitation Herb Cochran points out this is one of its commitments in the Trade Facilitation Agreement signed by more than 100 members of the World Trade Organization.

Yet companies remain weighed down by reams of files that the customs office expects them to have on hand, according to Chi Ngo, purchasing manager at Coats Phong Phu, a major textiles exporter.

“If we have to keep those documents physically, then after a number of years, we have a huge burden,” she said at the business forum.

Trading Hub’s Special Status

The customs office was seeking company feedback as it moved to take advantage of National Assembly Resolution 54, which took effect Jan. 15 and grants Ho Chi Minh City greater powers beyond the purview of the national government. It allows the trading hub the autonomy to experiment in four areas: land use, including zoning for commerce; tax policy, such as for environmental protection or special consumption; the setting of investment privileges; and city administration.

It’s still early days for the resolution, but customs authorities are taking other steps to encourage trade. Attached to its Plan 151 is a list of “common violations,” meant to be a guide for importers and exporters. The roster includes forged e-signatures, tax evasion through low declarations of quantity or value, and falsified forms to avoid licensing or other obligations. The list also seems to offer a solution for bribery, telling traders to report immediately “if customs officials deliberately cause difficulties for enterprises, or negative behavior.”


02/01/2018: Vietnamese Update to Border Rules Takes Page From NAFTA. Vietnamese customs officials, newly vested with more autonomy from the national …

AmCham Scholarship 2018 – Frequently Asked Questions


The AmCham Scholarship program is part of AmCham’s efforts to improve the business environment in Vietnam in general, and the HCM City area in particular, by helping develop high quality human resources for member companies, as well as helping students develop essential professional working skills. Read more

AmCham Palooza Party at Boudoir Lounge