Weekly Update Feb 04: TET Lunar New Year, Feb 6-11, 2008

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Upcoming Events and Activities (next two weeks)

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

We-Mo, Feb 6-11 TET Lunar New Year (VN Holiday) “Tet is the festival which epitomizes the identity of Vietnamese culture. Many rites, festivities and practices of Vietnamese TET hark back to myths and legends of the Viet culture of the Bronze Age (first millenium B.C.) called the Red River Culture.” Click the link to learn more.

News and Issues Updates

Trading rights and Distribution rights: Mercedes-Benz to import vehicles and spare parts. Mercedes-Benz Vietnam has won a licence to import complete-built units. Customers would now be able to buy Mercedes-Benz vehicles from genuine sources and felt totally assured of the origins and verification of the cars, and could enjoy post-sale services and spare parts provided by Autohaus Mercedes-Benz nationwide.

Rents in major cities have sky-rocketed. Market observers said rising rents were dangerous for the economy, particularly as they hinder competitiveness and corporate expansion.

TET bonuses have some smiling; some crying – MOLISA reports on salaries and bonuses. According to the MoLISA’s survey of 1,000 companies and over 10,000 workers in 2007 and statistics of corporations, reports from the Departments of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs of Hanoi, HCM City Da Nang, Binh Duong and Dong Nai, salaries in 2007 increased by 10-12% compared to 2006, in general, averaging VND2.2 million/person/month.

Newly rich in Vietnam go on TET spending spree. “Many people are skeptical about the rich’s squandering habits, but by buying these things, they contribute much to society. For example, Diep bought the Phantom worth over VND21 billion but she paid tax of more than VND13 billion … ”

10,000 workers strike at Hong Kong toy factory as inflation hits 14% in January, while the minimum wage for workers to 540,000 dong (about 34 dollars) per month (in Vietnamese enterprises) and at least 800,000 dong for workers (in foreign-invested enterprises).

Illegal strikers to pay compensation to employers, according to a recent Government Decree that “is intended to halt the prevalence of unauthorized strikes. … Employees may strike if they are in dispute with their employers but the participants must follow regulations and procedures while employers must wait for the court’s decision and not try to settle the strike themselves,” according to the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

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.

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 200,000 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

Not receiving AmCham’s weekly update emails? Then, please check your spam of junk mail folder. To insure that you receive all future communication from AmCham, please add our email address to your address-book and to your “safe list” or “white list” (if applicable).

Why do my google search results say, “This site may harm your computer?”. Google explains: “This warning message appears with search results we’ve identified as sites that may install malicious software on your computer.” Then there is plenty of information about how to prevent or get rid of “badware” on your computer. 27 Jan 08.

Spreading the love of physics via MIT OpenCourseWare on iTunes. Walter H. G. Lewin, 71, a physics professor, has long had a cult following at MIT. And he has now emerged as an international Internet guru, thanks to the global classroom the institute created to spread knowledge through cyberspace. Professor Lewin’s videotaped physics lectures are free online. 20 Dec 07.

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