Weekly Update Aug 25: AmCham Palooza, Masters of Food & Wine, Members Night

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

Aug-Sep-Oct are the main months of the “West Pacific Typhoon Season.” Click here for an update on Weather in Vietnam and Western Pacific: satellite photos, typhoon forecasts, etc. No tropical storms approaching Vietnam as of Sa-Su, Aug 23-24.

Upcoming Events and Activities (next few weeks)

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

Official U.S. Govt Web Site for Overseas Voters: Online Voter Registration and Ballot Delivery. New system simplifies and accelerates voter registration and request for absentee ballot. As of Aug 25, there are 71 days remaining until the U.S. Election Day on Nov 4.

Th-Tu, Aug 28 – Sep 2: Oyster Promotion at Caravelle Hotel Fresh oysters from the United States. Effingham, Barron Pt. Premiums, Hama Hama & Nootka Sound oysters, and done up as raw as you please or as Oyster Rockefeller, Oyster’s Casino Royal, Hang Town Fryed Oysters, Oyster Chorone in Tomato Béarnaise and Oyster Mornay Baked with Cheese Sauce will be shucked and served by Billy Marinelli, the world famous Oyster King from 28 Aug to 2 Sep at Restaurant Nineteen. Also, Marinelli will show off the tricks of his trade in a one-time only cooking class Aug 29 at 3pm. Click the link for more information and for reservations.

Sa, Aug 30: AmCham Palooza Labor Day Happy Hour Cocktail Party Come kick off your Labor Day / National Foundation Weekend Saturday night with free food and drink specials at the Xu Cafe / Bar.

We-Sa, Sep 3-6: Masters of Food and Wine Saigon at the Park Hyatt Enjoy an elegant evening during the finale of the prestigious Masters of Food & Wine event. The Gala Dinner includes a 6-course menu specially designed by our master chefs accompanied by two wine pairings for each signature dish and after dinner drinks. Take this opportunity to experience outstanding food and wine in a glamorous setting and meet these world renowned chefs personally. Limited tickets are available therefore advance purchase is recommended. 10% discount for AmCham members. Formal attire / black tie requested. For reservations and more information, please call +84 8 520 2357 or visit www.mfwsaigon.com.

Local residents/expats: experience AN EXCLUSIVE 3-NIGHT VACATION PACKAGE at the award-winning Nam Hai Bask in the sun, swim in glorious pools, relax at the spa and indulge in a renowned chef’s culinary masterpieces, starting at just $ 1,000++. This limited offer includes complimentary breakfast for two, airport transfers for two, and your choice of a $ 100 Food & Beverage credit or a 60-minute deluxe spa treatment. Click the link for info and to make reservation. Your ultimate escape awaits …

Final call for applications to University of Hawaii Executive MBA Program in Ho Chi Minh City. Renowned for its expertise in international management and ranked among the top 25 graduate schools in the US for international business.

Th, Sep 11: Members Night and Meet the U.S. Consulate General. Back to work and back to school after the summer holidays and transfer season. Issues brief and cocktail reception with networking opportunities to meet new arrivals and renew acquaintances. Members’ spouses and invited guests are welcome and encouraged to attend! Lucky Draw prizes include: 2 night stay voucher at award-winning The Nam Hai resort valued at $1,500++.

Th, Sep 11: Essential Management Skills. A quick and concise guide to effective people management which will lead to enhanced staff performance and increased productivity.

Mo, Sep 15: Members Lunch: Product Safety of Vietnam’s Exports to the U.S. Recently there has been a lot of attention in the media to the safety of imports from Asia (especially China), and the U.S. Congress approved legislation to strengthen the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Join AmCham members and guests to learn from CPSC Chair Nancy Nord how the Commission is responding to the challenge of reducing and eliminating unsafe goods.

Tue, Sep 23: Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): What you need to know The FCPA is a major enforcement priority for regulators (Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission), and a major compliance issue for managers of U.S. companies with overseas operations. You need to be more familiar with the FCPA and the consequences of violations, which include fines and prison time.

We, Oct 15: Members Lunch: Consumer Spending Trends in Vietnam Since 1998, TNS Vietnam has been tracking the lifestyle trends of Vietnam. The 2008 TNS VietCycle – Vietnam’s Lifestyle Monitor – will cover the latest hot topics in Vietnam such as consumer reaction towards inflation and its impact on shopping and spending, daily activities and how these are changing with Vietnam’s ever increasing internet penetration, the impact and usage of the stock market and financial institutions, and how Vietnam’s recent economic turmoil has influenced consumers’ outlook and behavior.

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 …

News and Issues Updates

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

Ambassador Michalak: U.S. Vietnam strengthen cooperative ties The United States and Vietnam are making progress in cooperation on many fields, including economic relations (bilateral investment treaty and GSP treatment for imports from Vietnam), education, health care, climate change, law construction, human rights and anti-corruption efforts.

Vietnam urges cautious approach to Japanese corrupt payments allegations Vietnam has suggested Japanese and Vietnamese media refrain from reporting on the issue until after the investigations concluded. Misleading media reports could make the public suspicious of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) policies and Vietnam’s determination to crack down on corruption, said Vietnam’s Foreign Affairs Vice Minister.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry bans Pacific Consultants International from ODA projects for two years for corrupt payments Japan’s Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said the ban would start on Aug 15, 2008. The suspension came after former and current senior PCI executives were arrested on suspicion of corrupt payments to win orders for construction projects in Vietnam financed by Japanese ODA.

HCMC to hire foreign consultant to fix cracks in Saigon River Tunnel, funded by Japan’s ODA Speaking at a meeting Saturday between the HCMC government and the Ministry of Construction, head of the East-West Highway PMU Huynh Ngoc Si filed a report pointing out several possible causes of the cracks.

Former Vice Minister of Transportation Nguyen Viet Tien faces dismissal from Govt, Party posts The government is set to formally fire the Vice Minister after he was held accountable for wrongdoings in the management of official development assistance at an agency under the transport ministry.

Fuel, food lift inflation in Ho Chi Minh City to 27.5 percent in August Food prices in HCM City are up 84 percent from last August, less than 89 percent in July as the summer-autumn rice crop harvesting has nearly finished in the nearby Mekong Delta.

Vietnam punishes journalists over coverage of anti-corruption case In August, four leading journalists at Thanh Nien and Tuoi Tre were stripped of their press cards by the government but given no concrete reason why.

Ministry blames contractors, investor for cracks in Saigon River tunnel Widening fissures in the tunnel sections are not caused by siphoned materials but rather technical errors, an official says. The Thu Thiem Tunnel will be 1.5 kilometers long, with a 371-meter section running under the Saigon River. It is set to open by June 2009 and become Southeast Asia’s longest river tunnel.

Japanese firm “hit with 15% bribe demand” for corrupt payments to Vietnamese official According to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Headquarters, former PCI managing director, Kunio Takasu, and other PCI officials paid more than 200 million yen between 2001 and 2006.

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.

Photos from AmCham’s Independence Day Family Picnic Over 150 photos.

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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Computing Tips: Business Tips for Late Facebook Arrivals Choose your friends and photos carefully on social-networking sites, but by all means get on Facebook. Here are some basic lessons learned. 18 Aug 2009

Computing Tips: Facebook No. 1 Globally with 132 million users The site is the top global social network, nearly 63% of users are outside North America. The site had been translated into 20 languages including French, Spanish, and Mandarin, recently added 69 more. “Now, through translations, we are seeing a lot of growth in international countries,” says Javier Olivan, international manager at Facebook in a recent interview. 18 Aug 2008

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