Weekly Update Apr 28: Family Weekend & Golf Outing, Members Night, Executive Rewards & Retention

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Upcoming Events and Activities (next two weeks)

Plan ahead. Click here to see all upcoming Events and Committee Meetings

Th-Su, May 1-4 Phan Thiet Family Weekend and Golf Outing Plan a fun weekend at the Novotel Coralia and Ocean Dunes Golf Club. Laze away in a lounge chair by the pool or ocean, or there are lots of available activities, including a two-day Golf Outing, Welcome Cocktail Party, Gala Sea-Side Dinner, accompanied by fine wine, under a starry sky. Lots of activities for kids, too. Click the link for information and to download a registration form.

Apr 23 – Jul 10 Graceful singer Kat Parsons at the Park Lounge, Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel Visit from 8pm to enjoy the beautiful voice of American singer Kat Parsons every evening (except Tuesdays) from April 23 – July 10, 2008. Click the link to learn more about Kat..

Th, May 15 Members Night. Introductions and brief from the U.S. Consulate General, updates on key issues. Cocktail reception with networking opportunities with over 150 members. Spouses and guests are we!come and encouraged to attend!

Fr, May 16 (HCM City), Mo, May 19 (Hanoi), Stock/Share Options Workshop: Watson Wyatt & Smart HR Do you have an incentive scheme that is a long term solution? Can it attract, motivate and retain your senior managers? Let’s join the workshop and get valuable information. Click the link for more information and registration.

Tu-Su, Jun 3-8 AmCham Vietnam Mission to Shanghai and Beijing: Save the Dates A survey by AmCham Shanghai and Booz Allen Hamilton found that Fifty-four per cent of respondents thought China’s competitiveness is waning. 63 per cent plan to capture lower labor costs by shifting to Vietnam. We are cooperating with AmCham in Shanghai and Beijing on this mission. Additional information and participation registration form to be provided soon.

Sa, 28 June 2008 Independence Day Family Picnic and BBQ Join us for an old-fashioned celebration with scrumptuous food, fun and games for children and parents, great door prizes, and good music at AmCham’s Annual Independence Day Celebration and Family Picnic. Limited to 600 AmCham Members and their Family and Guests.

VCCI – AmCham Business Mentoring Program The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, supported by AmCham, EuroCham, and the 2030 Business Club, is cooperating on a Business Mentoring Program to help young Vietnamese entrepreneurs learn the best experiences from successful entrepreneurs and international managers. Click the link for information and to volunteer to participate.

Sa, Dec 6: AmCham Governors Ball: SAVE THE DATE A formal event held in the festive style of the season, to raise funds for community support programs funded by and through the AmCham-United Way partnership.

All upcoming events …

New member and associate companies. Click on the link to learn more about the latest companies to join AmCham.

AmCham Job Opportunities

AmCham Job Opportunities With increased U.S. companies’ interest in Vietnam, our members and activities are growing. We are expanding our staff, and have a number of new opportunities. Please click the link for more information and an Employment Application.

News and Issues Updates

Click this link to read the below and more News Highlights: Business, Trade, and Investment in Vietnam and Asia.

Rice fever grips Vietnamese consumers Saturday morning a kilogram of rice sold for VND10,000 (US$ 0.63) but only a few hours later the food staple was VND18,000 ($ 1.13) a kilogram. By Saturday night, supermarket shelves were empty.

U.S. alleges baby-selling, corruption in adoptions from Vietnam A U.S. Embassy report describes brokers scouring villages for babies, hospitals selling infants whose mothers cannot pay their bills, and a grandmother giving away her grandchild, without telling the child’s mother. The head of Vietnam’s Department of International Adoptions categorically denies the charges. The U.S. Embassy now urges Americans not to initiate any adoptions from Vietnam until new measures to prevent fraud have been implemented. The U.S. – Vietnam Adoption Agreement expires Sep 1, 2008, and may not be renewed.

Vietnam’s Consumer Price Index up 21.4% in April over previous year The Ministry of Planning and Investment Ministry suggested that the growth target be lowered to 7 per cent, and said that it will now be impossible to keep the CPI below the 12.63 per cent of last year.

Sales Stuck? Try Sticking to a Script To improve your odds of landing a paying client, prepare a dialogue you can use to disqualify bad leads. Then start building rapport.

Feeling good: Halfway from rags to riches, Special Report by The Economist, Apr 25, 2008 In a glowing Special Report, The Economist praises Vietnam’s market-oriented economic and social development, while highlighting challenges ahead. Ten separate online articles, an interview with the author Southeast Asia Correspondent for The Economist, and links to a down loadable pdf file of the complete Special Report. Highly recommended reading.

Another strike: 4,000 workers at Hue Phong Footwear After the company agreed to increase workers’ salaries 38 percent to 1,170,000 Vietnamese dong ($ 73), about 75% higher than the minimum wage for workers at Vietnamese-owned firms, they then demanded to be fully paid for the five days they were on strike.

Dog meat may be spreading Vietnam’s cholera outbreak in Hanoi Eating dog meat or other food from outlets that serve it is linked to a 20-fold increase in the risk of developing the severe acute watery diarrhea commonly caused by the cholera bacterium. The disease highlights problems with basic sanitation in Vietnam, where economic growth in excess of 8 percent last year drew people from provinces to the cities. Since March 5, 2,490 cases of severe acute watery diarrhea have been reported, mostly in Hanoi.

Vietnam raises car tariffs to 83% to curb imports Tariffs on car imports rose to 83 percent from 60 percent in a move that one Hanoi-based car importer said “would make imported cars at least 10 percent more expensive than now and that would reduce demand significantly.”

Bribery Abroad: Lessons from the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Those involved in cross-border business, from directors in the U.S. to factory managers in Vietnam, now live and work by codes of conduct shaped by the FCPA. Avoiding the pitfalls of overseas bribery, and knowing how to respond if corrupt payments somehow happen, are required tools for international executives and managers, professionals and entrepreneurs.

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations growing – are you at risk? FCPA legal conferences on corporate bribery ten years ago had maybe 60 people in the audience, and half were speakers from the various sessions. But in the fall of 2007, an FCPA conference had more than 400 people packed into the hotel ballroom. FCPA business is booming, advising multinational companies on how to design and implement compliance systems meant to deter and ferret out corrupt practices

Bouygues Construction wins construction contract in Vietnam worth 100 million euros Bouygues Construction subsidiary Bouygues Batiment International has won the 100-million-euro design-and-build contract for a 200-metre-tall tower building in Vietnam, the M&C Tower. The 42-storey building will be on the banks of the Saigon river in Ho Chi Minh City.

Click this link to read more News Highlights: Business, Trade, and Investment in Vietnam and Asia.

Event Presentations, Downloads, and PHOTO ALBUMS

Event Presentations and PHOTO ALBUMS Did you miss an AmCham event? Were you there but wanted to have a copy of the presentation? Didn’t get the business card of the person you were talking with? Now you can download the presentations by clicking on the above link. Also, you can see a list of people that attended the event, with links to their company contact information.

Presentation: Grade A office rents in HCMC to reach US$ 100/sqm. Can you afford it? Rising office rents affect us all, whether your company is in a shop house or a Grade A office tower. Savills Vietnam believes Grade A rents will top US$ 100 per sqm in the next 2 years. Have you planned for this in your budgets? Couldn’t attend the lunch on Th, Feb 28? Click the link to download the presentation and find out where the market is going and decide how it affects your business.

Online Membership Directory Looking for information on AmCham members? Click here to browse the Online Membership Directory for information about and contact points for our 400 member and associate companies, and about 800 representatives. Also with links to their company web sites for even more information about American and international businesses in Ho Chi Minh City.

Benefits and Services Review AmCham benefits and services and learn how you can benefit from Networking Online, with about 100,000 visitors and 250,000 page-views per month to www.amchamvietnam.com.

Your announcement in AmCham’s Weekly Update email Early each week, AmCham’s Weekly Update email goes out to nearly 800 representatives of over 400 AmCham member and associate companies, plus thousands of subscribers in Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, and the USA. We welcome event announcements that are of interest to our business readers.

Computing Tips from the AmCham Webmaster

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Google’s CEO on “Cloud Computing” Google is a cloud computing server, and in fact we are spending billions of dollars, this is public information, to build data centers, which are in one sense a return to the mainframe. In another sense, they’re one large supercomputer. And in another sense, they are the cloud itself. 27 Apr 2008.

From South Asia to iTunes How a husband-and-wife team turned an Indian music podcast series into a business and is making the most out of its Apple storefront on its Web site, where it sells Indian music from Bollywood hits to Bhangra classics, remixed with rap and pop, via iTunes, Apple’s online music store. 06 Apr 2008.

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Keep up-to-date about U.S.-Vietnam trade and investment with Weekly Updates.