Weekly Update Jan 12: Monthly Lunch, New Year’s Networking Drinks Night, TET

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Upcoming Events and Activities

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Phu My Bridge in Ho Chi Minh City
We, Jan 14 Members Lunch: Vietnam 2020: Solutions for Large-Scale Infrastructure and Real Estate Documentation Help make history. Bridging the past, present, and future of Vietnam using new media technologies to document tangible development indicators in Vietnam such as city foundation essentials (roads, bridges, and waterways) and burgeoning urban centers (residential and office buildings).

We, Jan 14: Joint Chambers New Year’s Networking Drinks Night Complimentary canapes will be served. Beer (Budweiser) 30kvnd, wine 60kvnd, spirits and cocktail 40kvnd. Organized by BBGV, AusCham, AmCham, EuroCham, co-hosted by CanCham, HKBAV, NordCham, SwissCham.

Su-We, Jan 25-28: Caravelle’s Nineteen Delectable TET Buffet. The Caravelle Hotel welcomes the Year of the Ox at Nineteen Jan. 25-28 with a buffet that celebrates the best of the mains and the range. “Nineteen’s buffet is a marvel throughout the year, but we pull out all the stops at Tet,” said John Gardner, general manager of the Caravelle. The 2009 buffet costs USD 47 per person and comes with a passion fruit welcome drink and our regular free flow of Italian and Chilean wines.

TET Lunar New Year 2009 (VN Holiday) – Year of the Water Buffalo – Jan 26-29 Only 14 days before TET, Vietnam’s most important holiday. Click on the link to learn more about this holiday and TET customs in Vietnam.

Fr-Su, Feb 13-15 Dalat Winter Weekend and Roundtable discussion of key issues for U.S.-Vietnam trade and investment in 2009. Join AmCham Governors and other members for a networking weekend, with excursions, golf tournament, and spa. The Sofitel Dalat Palace epitomizes the seductive charm of Dalat. It is one of the few remaining historical hotels in Asia, and offers the finest in European atmosphere, amenities and service. Spaces are limited, so early registration is advised.

Dec 15, 2008 – Mar 31, 2009, The Nam Hai, Hoi An: Exclusive Rates for Local Residents. The Nam Hai, winner of Travel and Leisure’s Best Resort Design 2008 and nominated to the Conde Nast Hot List, is offering an exclusive rate for AMCHAM Members from December 15, 2008 to March 31, 2009. Situated on 85 acres on the Central Coast of Vietnam, this beach front exclusive all-villa resort features 60 one-bedroom villas and 40 pool villas ranging from one to five bedrooms.

All upcoming events …

News and Issues Updates

Grant Thornton survey shows business execs still upbeat about Vietnam economy “Optimism has fallen from +87% to +31%. However, Vietnam is still one of the most optimistic countries.” The report points out a fall in consumer demand in the U.S., Europe and other major export markets of Vietnam is the greatest concern for the next 12 months.

Banks say dollar liquidity improves but still in short supply “Exporters do not want to sell all of their dollars to banks, but just part of their holdings when they need funds in Vietnam dong,” one banker said, adding the main source of dollars at this time was from the State Bank of Vietnam.

U.S. Federal Reserve Outlook Darkens on Economy GDP to drop sharply in the first half of 2009, unemployment to increase into 2010, new orders for manufactured goods down. Still the DJIA up 19%, and the S&P up 24% from November lows.

Wal-Mart, Other Retailers See Tough Months Ahead; December Same-Store Sales Disappoint Nov-Dec 2008 was the worst holiday showing since 1970. Even affluent consumers have curtailed spending. A retail consulting firm predicts the retail economy is only a third of the way into a 1,000-day slump. “Things are going to get worse.” Home prices have fallen by about 25% from their peak. Meanwhile, U.S. stock shares ended 2008 down by about 40% on average, wiping out much of the wealth households used in recent years to finance their spending and fuel U.S. economic growth.

Foreign business group leaders project massive layoffs in Q1 Local employment officials estimated tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs in 2008, with more than 75% at foreign-invested companies in manufacturing. The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Welfare put layoffs in 2009 at 150,000, but experts said the real number could be much higher.

Vietnam workers strike over alleged abuses The Lao Dong daily newspaper estimated there were 775 strikes nationwide, mostly in the industrial south, compared to 541 the previous year.

Prime Minister’s 5-point plan for struggling economy Vietnam has shifted its priority from containing soaring inflation to preventing economic recession. The fight against slowing economic growth is even harder than that against inflation considering the limited resources of the country as well as the ongoing international financial crisis.

Prime Minister requests harmonious labor relations, stable investment environment, social order Action Plan for the implementation of Directive No. 22-CT/TW dated 05 June 2008 of the Secretariat of the Central Committee on enhancing leadership, providing direction for the development of harmonious, stable and progressive labor relations within enterprises.

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

Information Resources on AmCham Web Site www.amchamvietnam.com

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 Governors Ball – online

Online Directory Looking for information on AmCham companies? Click here to browse the Online Directory for information about and contact points for over 450 AmCham companies, and over 900 representatives. Also with links to 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.

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