Weekly Update Feb 12: WTO Implementation Feb 13, Direct Selling Feb 13, ICT Feb 27

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

Upcoming Events and Committee Meetings

Tue, Feb 13 2pm: WTO Implementation Committee – Inaugural Organizational Meeting
The WTO Implementation Committee was formed recently. At this meeting, members will further define the committee’s purpose, objectives, annual goals, timeline, membership, and resources. If you are a driver and wish to actively participate, please click the link to register on-line and attend.—Committee Chair Lou Nguyen.

Tue, Feb 13 5pm: Proposed Direct Selling Committee – Organizational Meeting
Based on our first informal meeting on January 24th, we will meet to organize more formally, define mission and objectives, and create action plans for this committee. Please spread the word to any other companies or groups you may feel interested in joining this action committee, and invite them to attend. We will all benefit from more voices and insights. Click the link for information and to register on-line.—Committee Chair Shane Harrison

Tue, Feb 27 4:30pm: ICT Committee Meeting – at TMA Solutions Headquarters
ICT solutions providers and those needing solutions, join our monthly meeting at TMA Solutions, followed by informal networking cocktails. Click the link to see the agenda, other participants, and minutes of the January meeting, download the presentation. This is a very active committee with lots going on. – Committee Chair Rick Yvanovitch.

APCAC Annual Meeting in Ho Chi Minh City, Thu-Sat, Mar 22-24, 2007
Regular annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Council of AmChams (APCAC). APCAC consists of 25 member AmChams that represent the growing interests of 10,000 businesses and 50,000 executives in 19 countries and economies of the Asia-Pacific region. The APCAC membership manages trade volumes of over US$ 400 billion and direct investments (FDI) of almost US$ 300 billion.

10th Annual AmCham Family Weekend in Phan Thiet, Apr 28-May 1
It’s also not too early to put this great AmCham weekend on your calendar. Plan ahead to avoid disappointment during this busy Spring holiday.

TET Lunar New Year, Feb 16-21, 2007
It’s not too soon to make your plans for TET now. Click on the link to learn more about this holiday and TET customs in Vietnam, and the Lunar Year calendar. There are four “core” days of celebration: TET Eve (12/29 in the Lunar Calendar, Feb 16 in Western Calendar), First Day of TET (1/1 in Lunar, Feb 17 in Western Calendar), 2nd Day of TET (1/2 and Feb 18), 3rd Day of TET (1/3 and Feb 19). This year, the TET holidays are especially long. AmCham in HCMC offices will be closed for the TET holidays Wed, Feb 14 – Fri, Feb 23, reopening on Mon, Feb 26. Members, associates, and visitors can contact us by email or by using the Contact Us button at the bottom of this web site.

Presidents; Day – President George Washington’s Birthday, Feb 19, 2007
While Americans may be interested in learning more about TET, Vietnamese may be interested ln learning more about George Washington, the first President of the United States (for two terms: 1789-1797). Please click the link for more information about George Washington, his important role in the eight-year long Revolutionary War (1775-1783), and the founding of the United States. Note that the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City will be closed on this holiday.

Issues Updates and AmCham – related News

AmCham submits recommendations to the Ministry of Trade re apparel trade after WTO accession
U.S. imports of apparel in 2006 were about US$ 3.5 billion, nearly 40% of total U.S. imports from Vietnam (about US$ 8.8 billion) and one-third of total trade between Vietnam and the U.S. About 2,000,000 workers are employed in the apparel industry. On February 8, 2007, AmCham recommended specific measures to the Minister of Trade that would help preserve the apparel industry and ensure that U.S. customers keep their current orders in Vietnam.

Protect your supply chain from counterfeiters and modern-day pirates
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy released recommendations on steps companies can take to protect their supply chains. “Our tool kit provides both large and small companies with useful, effective ways to prevent their products and services from being counterfeited or pirated,” said David Hirschmann, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Click the link for more information and to download the toolkit and other resources.

IBM opens Global Delivery Center in Ho Chi Minh City; other international ICT firms to follow
The delivery center is located inside the National University of HCMC’s Information Technology Park in Thu Duc District. This center is the second GDC of IBM in Southeast Asia and the 30th GDC of the giant IT corporation worldwide. The GDC, IBM’s first in Vietnam and second in Southeast Asia, will produce software solutions, and will eventually employ 5,000 software engineers.

Vietnam’s WTO Commitments – Download the Presentation (44pg pdf file)
These commitments will have a major impact on your business development in the future. Fred Burke, Managing Partner of Baker & McKenzie Vietnam, and Chairman of the Legal and Vietnam Business Forum Liaison Committee, higlighted the key issues for nearly 100 members and guests.

More News. Click the link for more news highlights.

More news you can use

Event Presentations and Downloads
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. Download the AmCham HCMC Board of Governors Report on Activities in 2006.

Sec 911 – Housing cost amount eligible for exclusion or deduction – U.S. Citizens
The U.S. Treasury Department issued a notice concerning housing costs eligible for exclusion or deduction by U.S. citizens and .

Online Membership Directory
Looking for information on AmCham members? Click here to browse the Online Membership Directory. We now have 373 member and associate companies, with more than 700 representatives of those companies.

Other Chambers in Ho Chi Minh City. Click the link see other events in HCMC.

Other AmChams in the Asia/Pacific Region Click this link ff you plan to travel in the region and want to know about networking opportunities in the city(ies) you will visit. AmCham members are welcome to attend member functions at any AmCham in the Asia-Pacific region at local member rates. Be sure to have your AmCham member card with you and your www.amchamvietnam.com member listing up to date.

Benefits and Services
Review your benefits and services and learn how you can benefit from Networking Online, with about 66,000 visitors and 120,000 page-views per month to www.amchamvietnam.com.

Your announcement in AmCham’s Weekly Update email
Every Monday or Tuesday, AmCham’s Weekly Update email goes out to 700 representatives of AmCham member and associate companies, plus over 1,000 subscribers in Vietnam and the USA. We welcome event announcements that are of interest to members and associates and offer a service to include such announcements in the Weekly Update email.

Tips and hints 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, [email protected], to your address and your safe list or “white list” (if applicable).

AmCham Webmaster’s Computing Tips: Internet use in Vietnam
81% of firms in Vietnam use broadband internet, up from only 54% in 2004. About 17.5% of Vietnam’s population use the internet. Click the link for more information, including information about the “Top 100 Sites” for users in Vietnam.

View www.amchamvietnam.com’s web traffic rank on www.alexa.com (www.amazon.com)
Compare the traffic rank of www.amchamvietnam.com with other web sites. The smaller the number the higher-ranking the web site. yahoo.com = #1, msn.com = #2, Google = #3, www.amchamvietnam.com = (see the image below)

www.amchamvietnam.com traffic ranking graph (www.alexa.com)

Speakeasy Speed Test Click on the SPEED TEST image to test your internet connection speed. By measuring the download and upload rate you are able to accurately judge your current line throughput or internet connection speed.

Try it now to see how if your internet connection measures up. And if you don’t have high-speed cable access, get it now. You can’t afford not to.

This week’s quote: “Give me golf clubs, fresh air and a beautiful partner and you can keep the golf clubs and the fresh air.” (Jack Benny)

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