Weekly Update Feb 6: U.S. Science Envoy (Feb 8), Winter Weekend (Feb 24-26)

Highlights

Ho Chi Minh City 2011 • Video Tour
Volvo Round-the-World Ocean Race Off Coast of Vietnam (YouTube)
What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) … ?
Vietnam – U.S. Trade Status and Outlook, 2011 – 2020e
Tu, Feb 7 Lunch: The Year Ahead: Executive Summary and Outlook
Tu, Feb 7 Legal & VBF Committee
We, Feb 8 Reception: Dr. Rita Colwell, U.S. Science Envoy, S & SE Asia
Fr, Feb 17 Vietnam’s Tertiary Education: Preparing Graduates for Work?
Th, Feb 23: Vietnam Customs Duty Conference 2012: Planning & Problem Solving
Fr-Su, Feb 24-26 Winter Weekend: Register Now
Th-Fr, Mar 1-2 APCAC 2012 U.S. – Asia Business Summit (Tokyo)
Mo-Tu, Mar 26-27 Asia Pacific Business Outlook 2012 (Los Angeles)
World Bank Economic Update: Vietnam, Nov 2011
World Bank: Vietnam Key Indicators, Nov 2011 (East Asia & Pacific Update)
VN General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) wants higher minimum wage, same overtime
Tu, Nov 6, U.S. General Elections Day • U.S. Voter Registration Web Sites

Events, Meetings, Activities, and Special Offers

Asia Pacific Business Outlook, 2012 (Mar 26-27) #4

Feb 3 – 12 Morel Mania arrives at Caravelle Business is mushrooming in Reflections Restaurant this February.The elusive morel mushroom is the star of a gourmet promotion at the Caravelle Hotel from Feb. 3 – 12, 2012. Get a taste of the morel’s delicate, nutty flavor from an a la carte menu; or choose from two set menus featuring the highly prized seasonal mushroom in a series of favorite dishes.

Tu, Feb 7 Lunch: The Year Ahead: Executive Summary and Outlook (co-hosted CanCham event) Well-known speakers from a variety of business sectors will present their outlooks, and identify challenges and likelihoods for the Year of the Dragon.

Tu, Feb 7 Legal & VBF Committee Click the link for the agenda.

We, Feb 8 Reception: Rita Colwell, PhD, U.S. Science Envoy Universities as Growth Engines: How Government and Industry Can Support University-led Innovation. The U.S. Science Envoy program promotes U.S. global engagement in science and technology, deepens existing ties and fosters new relationships with international counterparts, and gains insights from other nations about potential areas of collaboration that will help address global challenges and achieve shared goals.

Tu, Feb 14, Valentine’s Day at Legend Hotel Saigon Sweep your loved ones off their feet with Saigon’s most spectacular international buffet at the renowned Atrium Café of this luxury river-front 5-star international hotel.

Fr, Feb 17 Lunch: U.S. Taxation of US Citizens and Companies: The Arguments for a Territorial Approach Unlike every other developed country, the U.S. imposes tax on the worldwide income of its citizens and permanent residents who live overseas. The US imposes high corporate income tax rates on US multinationals as well as complex “controlled foreign corporation” rules and reporting obligations. This year international tax issues have become a hot topic of debate in the US. Key elements of the US international tax rules as they affect US citizens and companies operating in Asia, including the section 911 foreign earned income exclusion, and reasons why the US should move to more of a territorial system of taxation.

Fr, Feb 17 Vietnam’s Tertiary Education: Preparing Graduates for Work? (co-hosted BBGV event) Leaders in Vietnam’s tertiary education sector and business leaders will explore how universities and business could cooperate to bring the very large numbers of Vietnamese graduates into the work place more efficiently.

Irving Seminars Vietnam Customs Duty 2012 Th, Feb 23 Vietnam Customs Duty Conference 2012 A full day, in-depth workshop with all the practical considerations that businesses need to know in navigating Vietnam’s customs procedures and laws, which have changed a lot in the five years since Vietnam became a WTO member in Jan 2007.

Fr-Su, Feb 24-26 Winter Weekend: Register Now Join other AmCham members and guests in a networking weekend, with Chairman’s Roundtable discussion of key issues in Vietnam-U.S. trade and investment and outlook for 2012. Three days/two nights including room with American breakfast, Fri: Welcome Wine & Cheese reception; Sat: Morning Chairman’s Roundtable, Evening Cocktails, Gala Dinner. Plus optional outings, golf, or just relax in the brisk mountain air.

Th-Fr, Mar 1-2 APCAC 2012 U.S. – Asia Business Summit (Tokyo) Over 300 senior leaders from business and government. Ambassadors from around the region. High-level American government trade policy and investment promotion officials from Washington. Business executives based in the region and from head offices in America. Japanese political and business leaders.

Mo-Tu, Mar 26-27 Asia Pacific Business Outlook 2012 (Los Angeles) Access 17 Asia/Pacific Markets in 2 days! If you are doing business in the Asia/Pacific region, this is the one conference you can’t afford to miss. Find answers to your questions on 17 economies by choosing from 60 focused sessions and private one-on-one consultations. Get the latest information and connect with expert and insiders. APBO’s 25th Anniversary: since 1987, APBO has been the premier business conference focused on trade and investment in Asian markets.

Tu, Nov 6, U.S. General Elections Day • U.S. Voter Registration Web Sites More than 6 million Americans live overseas. If the overseas American community were a state, we would be the 18th most-populous state in the union. Our votes count … click the link to register online, get a ballot, and vote.

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

Stay informed about Vietnam-U.S. trade and investment with Weekly Updates (Past Issues).

News and Issues Updates

Tilleke & Gibbins Elevates Michael K. Lee to Partner of the firm, effective Jan 1, 2012. Michael counsels clients and manages cases on a wide range of corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, licensing, commercial transactions, real estate, regulatory affairs (particularly for the life sciences and high-technology industries), FCPA compliance, and labor. In 2011, he was identified as a leading lawyer in Vietnam in the areas of Corporate and M&A (by Chambers Asia-Pacific) and Real Estate (by Asialaw Leading Lawyers).

ISHCMC Celebrates Opening of New Wing and Launches HCMC’s only 1 to 1 computer tablet program ISHCMC held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and an Open House with nearly 300 students, teachers and parents on hand to join in the festivities.

Ho Chi Minh City 2011 • YouTube Video Tour Fast-paced video of Ho Chi Minh City at the end of 2011. You may not believe all the changes that have taken place in recent years … ! Source: People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City. Used with permission.

Every day organisations are steering blindly into the future with strategic plans and annual budgets that are outdated and fail to correspond with reality. In the current business environment, where today’s plans may greatly differ from tomorrow’s reality, organisations need to forecast faster and more frequently if they intend to successfully address today’s needs and meet tomorrow’s demands.

Moody’s upgrades Indonesia’s sovereign rating to Baa3; outlook stable key drivers: government financial metrics, resilience to external shocks, healthier banking system, policy tools for financial vulnerabilities.

Indonesia foreign direct investment hits record $ 20 billion in 2011 with Singapore, Japan and the United States among the Southeast Asian nation’s top investors.

Wall Street Journal Launches Southeast Asia Edition, recognizing the increasing economic importance of the ASEAN region.

Footwear, garment exporters put high hope on TPPContainers for export from Vietnam Enterprises in garment and footwear industries – the two biggest exporters of Vietnam – are expecting opportunities to penetrate more deeply into the US market, when the Trans-Pacific Partnership TPP is signed. In 2011, Vietnam’s garment export turnover to the US reached 7.1 billion USD, accounting for 50 percent of the total garment export turnover, an increase of 13 percent over 2010. Meanwhile, the footwear export turnover to the market reached 2 billion USD, and handbag exports brought 700 million USD.

Japan’s largest chemical producer invests in VN Mining Shin-Etsu Chemical Co will set up two companies specializing in manufacturing silicone-based materials for high-brightness LED lights, and refining rare earth minerals, with a total investment of about US$ 64 million, to supply demand from customers in Vietnam and neighboring countries, and help reduce reliance reliance on China for raw materials. According to the company, the two facilities will be completed and begin production in Q1, 2013.

Vietnamese exporters brace for 2012 Containers for export from VietnamAfter posting a record annual growth of 33.3 percent in export revenues in 2011, led by apparel ($ 14 bil, 46% local content), crude oil, footwear (.5 bil, .8 bil local content), seafood ($ 6 bil), rice ($ 3.6 bil), and furniture ($ 3 bil). The top-ranked apparel sector exports to the U.S. of about $ 7.3 billion accounted for more than 50% of Vietnam’s total apparel exports of $ 14.02 billion.

Vietnam still seeks a way-out for state-owned groups In December 2011, the government held a significant meeting that focused on these “great businesses” that was presided over by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh (in charge of finance) and Hoang Trung Hai (in charge of industry and trade).

“New Year’s Resolution” of American Ambassador to Vietnam Amb. Shear and Reporter Huynh Phan Dec 2011“Our two countries have very good relations, common interests and can benefit a lot from this relationship, not only in economics, education, healthcare, environment but also diplomacy and defense. Strategic partnership is the best way to operate and address our developing ties. It is interesting that the Vietnamese I’ve met are very interested in this relationship.”

Foreign securities firms welcome Entirely foreign-invested securities and fund management companies will be authorized to operate in Viet Nam effective January 12, creating challenges for Vietnamese firms but also opportunities for market to develop.

Despite strict regulations, car imports from unofficial distributors still flock to VN Circular No 20 stipulates strict regulations on importing cars, only products to be distributed by authorized resellers; however, luxury cars from different sources still have been flocking to Vietnam. In 2010, U.S. exports of cars to Vietnam exceeded $ 230 million.

Vu Khoan: Vietnam China Relations Party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong and Vietnam’s most remarkable foreign affairs event of 2011 was Party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to China, and its key result: the signing of the six-point agreement on guiding principles for negotiation of sea-related issues between the two countries. It clearly points out that bilateral matters will be solved bilaterally, and multilateral issues will be settled multilaterally.

Two Web Sites for Overseas U.S. Voter Registration in 2012 Use the Overseas Vote Foundation and/or Federal Voting Assistance Program to simplify and accelerate your voter registration and request for absentee ballot.

Vietnam – U.S. trade status and outlook, 2011 – 2020e Despite the difficult domestic and international economic environment, Vietnam – U.S. trade in 2011 continued its steady increase. Total bilateral trade in 2011 was about US$ 22 billion, with Vietnam’s exports to the U.S. about $ 17.5 billion (up 17%), and imports from the U.S. about $ 4.5 billion (up 19%), demonstrating once again that manufacturing foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade are strong and stable factors that support Vietnam’s economic and social development.

Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment News for the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC), prepared by the BGR Group.

U.S. Chamber Asia Weekly Update, Jan 18-22, 2012. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce represents 3,000,000 businesses, 2,800 state and local chambers, 830 business associations, and 115 American Chambers of Commerce in 102 economies.

U.S. Chamber International Policy Update, Jan 28, 2010

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

Last week’s most popular links to events and articles

Vietnam – U.S. Trade Status and Outlook, 2011 – 2020e
Tu, Feb 7 Lunch: The Year Ahead: Executive Summary and Outlook (co-hosted CanCham event)TET Lunar New Year • Yr of the Dragon
Fr, Feb 17 Vietnam’s Tertiary Education: Preparing Graduates for Work? (co-hosted BBGV event)
Th, Feb 23 Vietnam Customs Duty Conference 2012 at Legend Saigon
World Bank Economic Update: Vietnam
Feb 24-26, AmCham Winter Weekend
World Bank: Vietnam Key Indicators (East Asia & Pacific Update)
Wall Street Journal Launches Southeast Asia Edition
Vietnam still seeks a way-out for state-owned groups

Recent Events and Information Resources

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.

Click the following links for recent event information and to download presentations and view photos.

Members Lunch: Do you have the right KPIs? – Balanced Scorecard approach
Presentation by Adrian Gardiner
Breakfast Briefing: Making Arbitration Work for You
Presentation by Nguyen Manh Dzung
Networking Night: How do Companies React to High Inflation in 2011?
Presentation by Hoa Nguyen

Other popular information downloads

Southern Key Economic Region: Ports, Industrial Parks, Roads
Developing a 21st Century Workforce in Vietnam
AmCham Letter to Prime Minister re Decree 46 and U.S.-Vietnam BTA
Project 30: PM’s Advisory Council on Administrative Reform
Labour Code Consultations 2008-2010 and National Conference on Industrial Relations Apr 2010
Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) wants higher minimum wage, same overtime
AmCham Statement at National Employers Conference, Oct 24, 2011
About AmCham : New Members Welcome Briefing, Sep 20, 2011
Industrial Real Estate in Vietnam, Sep 2011
Vietnam Competitiveness Report, 2010 – Michael Porter, et. al.
Vietnam Provincial Competitiveness Index, 2010
Asia Development Bank (ADB) and the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)
Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Road Network in 2015
ADB to Mobilize $ 10 billion for Vietnam projects over 2011 – 2015
Connecting Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Railways: A Strategic Framework
Asian Development Bank: VN Economic Fact Sheet
World Bank: Vietnam Economic Data and Statistics
World Bank: East Asia & Pacific Economic Update, Nov 2011: Vietnam Report
2011 Total Remuneration Survey: Mercer & Talentnet. 329 Firms, 90,282 employees
Ho Chi Minh City Metro Rail System Project Map
Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Responsible Tourism
About AmCham : Support for Education in Vietnam
Consumer Trends in Vietnam, 2005 – 2011
BRIBELine: Report a Bribe (anonymously)
TRACE International: Anti-bribery compliance solutions
An Analysis of State-owned Enterprises and State Capitalism in China, 2011
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Ministers’ Report (Summary), Nov 2011
Outlines of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (Details), Nov 2011
Sr Official: Background Briefing: ASEAN, East Asia Summits, Nov 2011
White House Fact Sheet: ASEAN-United States Leaders Meeting, Nov 2011
Vietnam Tourism Outlook (VISA International)
World Bank Vietnam Development Report 2012 : market economy for a middle-income Vietnam, Dec 6, 2011
World Bank Update on Vietnam Development Development Report, Dec 6, 2011
World Bank Economic Update: Vietnam, Nov 2011
World Bank: Vietnam Key Indicators Nov 2011 (East Asia & Pacific Update)
Vietnam – U.S. Trade Status and Outlook, 2011 – 2020e

Online Membership Directory Looking for information on AmCham companies? Click here to browse the Online Membership Directory for information about and contact points for nearly 500 AmCham companies, and over 1,000 representatives. Members can contact other members by email via the AmCham web site. Also, links to company web sites for even more information about AmCham companies in Ho Chi Minh City.

Benefits and Services Review AmCham benefits and services and learn how you can benefit from Networking Online, with over 250,000+ visitors and 350,000+ 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 over 1,000 representatives of nearly 500 AmCham companies, plus over 5,000 subscribers in Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, and the USA. We welcome event announcements that are of interest to our business readers.

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