Weekly Update, Jan 14, 2013: New AmChamVietnam.com, Idea Foundry, TET, Ambassador’s Blog

Events, special offers for members, trade/investment business issues and news for nearly 500 American, international, and Vietnamese companies, and over 1,000 key executives and staff. In addition, about 3,000 active subscribers in Vietnam, Asia-Pacific countries.

Highlights

Welcome to the New AmChamVietnam.com
Mo-Tu, Jan 14-15 Lower Mekong Initiative Infrastructure Best Practices Exchange
Mo, Jan 21 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (U.S. Holiday)
We, Jan 23 The Year Ahead: Summary & Outlook 2013 (CanCham Event)
Th, Jan 24 Idea Foundry • Business Creation and Entrepreneurial Accelerator for Vietnam
Sa, Feb 9 – Su, Feb 17 TET Lunar New Year Holidays • 9 days • Plan ahead … only 4 weeks away
Tu, Feb 12 Legal & VBF Liaison Committee Meeting
Mo, Feb 18 Washington’s Birthday (Presidents’ Day) (U.S. Holiday)
Su-Th, Feb 24-28 U.S. Chamber of Commerce Mission to Myanmar
Sa-Tu Mar 2 – 5 International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago
Mo-Th, Mar 11-14 Vietnam International Furniture and Home Accessories Fair
Th-Fr, Mar 21-22, 2013 APCAC Spring Conference
Mo-Tu, Apr 8-9 Asia Pacific Business Outlook, Los Angeles
Fr, Apr 19 Hung Kings’ Festival Day 2013
Starbucks Corp. will open its first Vietnam cafe  in Feb in Ho Chi Minh City
KKR will invest an additional $200 million in Masan Consumer Corp
IMF official: Vietnam may have cut interest rates too quickly
Ambassador Shear’s Blog: Donating blood for TET

Events, Meetings, Activities, and Special Offers

Welcome to the New AmChamVietnam.com Our team has been hard at work over the holidays in the last few weeks to launch our new “digital forward” presence. As we enter 2013, we are beginning our 11th year online. And the “online world” today is a far different place than in 2002, when our first website launched.

AmCham Membership Directory 2013 to be printed in February, and delivered after TET. AmCham Members update or provide company profiles to  Cindy Tran immediately. As you plan your marketing activities, be sure to consider this annual publication which is used daily by members and employees at AmCham’s more than 700 member companies, with over 1,400 representatives.

Welcome to new AmCham companies 83 new companies have joined AmCham in 2012. Brief descriptions, activities, representatives’ names, and links to their web sites for additional information.

HR2B customers enjoy top quality service in our 10th year of operation. HR2B provides professional services in human resources management to business in Viet Nam. Our combination of quality process, international standard customer service, and local knowledge has made us one of the top 3 consulting companies in the country. With offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi, and Da Nang, we add value to our clients’ businesses through providing quality professional services.

Splash into the TET Lunar New Year with the Water Snake, and enjoy exquisite seasonal delicacies at the New World Hotel Saigon’s Dynasty Restaurant, an elegantly spacious and beautifully designed restaurant decorated in a contemporary Chinese style that has been serving one of the most authentic Cantonese cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City for the past eighteen years.

Enjoy luxurious living and convenient working spaces at The Landmark Saigon Designed to meet the needs of international businesses, The Landmark offers 10,000 square metres of office space, 65 serviced apartments, a Health Club with a rooftop swimming pool and a squash court and superb views of the Saigon River, creating your home address in Saigon. The Landmark is now offering office spaces ranging from 100 to 600 square metres.

We, Jan 23 The Year Ahead: Summary & Outlook 2013 (CanCham Event)  Well-known guest speakers from a variety of business sectors will share their outlooks, identify challenges and opportunities in the Year of the Snake.

Idea Foundry • Business Creation and Entrepreneurial Accelerator for Vietnam

 Th, Jan 24 Idea Foundry • Business Creation and Entrepreneurial Accelerator for Vietnam Realizing the similarity between Pittsburgh city economic development history and the current stage of Vietnam’s economic landscape, Idea Foundry, a non-profit-organization founded in 2002 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A would like to introduce our programs to Vietnamese entrepreneurs, to assist Vietnam in its long-term economic and social development process.

Sa, Feb 9 – Su, Feb 17 TET Lunar New Year Holidays • 9 days • Plan ahead … only 4 weeks away Traditionally there are four main holidays: TET New Year’s Eve (Sa, Feb 9, 2013), and TET New Year’s Day (The First ) (Su, Feb 10, 2013), Second (Mo, Feb 11, 2013), and Third (Tu, Feb 12, 2013) Days of TET Nguyen Dan. However, since two of the official holidays are on the weekend, the holidays are observed on Sat, Feb 9 – Sun, Feb 17 (nine days). The Vietnamese traditionally celebrate Tet for one month: from the fifteenth day of the twelfth lunar month to the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. And even today, business slows two weeks before and up to two weeks after TET. Plan ahead … TET is only 4 weeks away.

Su-Th, Feb 24-28 U.S. Chamber of Commerce Mission to Myanmar The delegation will seek meetings with the U.S. Embassy and Myanmar’s key government officials to assess the business climate in Myanmar and discuss the challenges to the full normalization of economic relations. For more information, please contact John Goyer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Th-Fr, Mar 21-22, 2013 APCAC Spring Conference  Join senior-level executives and other dignitaries from Taiwan and throughout the region, as well as the United States, for networking and in-depth discussion of key issues facing the multinational business community. The gala dinner on March 21, held jointly with Hsieh Nien Fan, will feature a keynote address by President Ma Ying-jeou.

Mo-Tu, Apr 8-9 Asia Pacific Business Outlook, Los Angeles The annual Asia Pacific Business Outlook is the premier conference for exporters and investors targeting Asian markets. Get key intelligence on 17 markets by choosing from 60 focused sessions and private one-on-one consultations.

Plan ahead. Click here to see  Upcoming Events and Committee Meetings

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

News and Issues Updates

KKR will invest an additional $200 million in Masan Consumer Corp., a Vietnamese fish sauce maker, the largest private-equity deal in the country. KKR bought a 10 percent stake for $159 million in April 2011, its first acquisition in Vietnam.

Starbucks Corp. will open its first Vietnam cafe  in Feb in Ho Chi Minh City as part of its strategy to expand across Asia, along with Hong Kong partner, Maxim Group. Starbucks poses new competition for home-grown cafes such as Trung Nguyen and Highlands Coffee, as well as foreign shops such as the US-based Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Australia’s Gloria Jean’s.  ”Starbucks is not really a coffee; it’s a food-service concept” … the “Starbucks Experience.”

IMF official: Vietnam may have cut interest rates too quickly “Going forward, there is still a case for being a little bit more careful,” IMF resident representative said. “In terms of the balance of risks, it is perhaps advisable to be a little bit late in terms of reducing policy rates than being a little bit too early,” he said, adding that easing would only flood the banking system with liquidity.

12 Days of FCPA takeaways from the recently published FCPA Resource Guide (2), a useful resource for the long-held interpretations of the FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) by the agencies tasked with enforcement. It offers a single source for the ounce of prevention that may be worth a pound of cure. It is important that companies review the Guide to assess whether current compliance programs or measures will pass the watchful eye of the SEC or DOJ and for insight into how the agencies are likely to view future compliance issues and potential misconduct.

Vietnam – U.S. Trade Status and Outlook, 2012 – 2015e Bilateral trade in 2012 may increase by about 12% over 2011, despite the difficult domestic and international economic environment. Growth of Vietnam’s apparel exports to the U.S. is likely to slow because of rising costs in Vietnam, increased competition from other supplier countries, and reduced demand in the United States.

APEC Business Travel Card – Join the U.S. “Global Entry Trusted Traveler” Program Now Speed up your entry through immigration when traveling in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region.

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.

Benefits and Services Review AmCham benefits and services and learn how you can benefit from Networking Online

Your announcement in AmCham’s Weekly Update email Early each week, AmCham’s Weekly Update email goes out to about 1,000 representatives of nearly 500 AmCham companies, plus about 3,000 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).