Weekly Update Jan 24: Membership Directory, TET Lunar New Year, U.S.-Asia/Pacific Business Summit

Highlights

AmCham Membership Directory 2011 – update your listing
We-Mo, Feb 2-7 TET Lunar New Year (Yr of the Cat)
Mo-Mo, Jan 31-Feb 7 TET Lunar New Year (optional 8-day holidays)
Th-Fr, Mar 3-4 U.S.-Asia/Pacific Regional Business Summit, Singapore
Mo-Tu, Mar 28-29 APBO Asia Pacific Business Outlook, Los Angeles

Events, Meetings, Activities, and Special Offers for Members

AmCham Membership Directory 2011 – update your listing And, as you plan your marketing activities, be sure to consider the AmCham Membership Directory. We update it every year over October-December, print it in January, and deliver it after TET. It’s used daily by members and employees at more than 700 AmCham companies, with over 1,400 representatives. New members use it when they join, referencing the special section on member benefits and Chamber programs and activities, as well as surveying the directory to find new business partners.

Jan 14 – Feb 27 Legend Hotel Saigon’s Tet Weekend Package Applicable for your stay on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Tet week (31 Jan – 7 Feb) and Valentine night, the package is priced at only VND 2,011,000++ per night for single or double occupancy in a Deluxe Room with several special benefits.

Mo-Fr, Jan 23-28 Seeking interviews about Vietnam’s transition to a market economyTwo widely-published researchers are in Ho Chi Minh City this week to conduct interviews relating to Vietnam’s economic transition. They interview business leaders, economic development leaders, Financial/Banking experts, and University Professors in the field of economic transition and review trade/investment opportunities.

We, Feb 16 Member Lunch: Engagement Indicator Survey 2011 Briefing Engaged employees reduce the cost of recruiting, hiring, training and developing, not to mention their positive effects on productivity. Engaged employees are also more willing to give extra effort when your organization needs it and those in customer-facing roles are more likely to create more satisfied customers. To improve employees’ engagement, organizations must first define and measure engagement.

Business Opportunity for a foreign company that has or wants to have an outsourcing operation in Vietnam. In 2005, Connexus Corp (www.connexuscorp.com) established a Vietnam subsidiary, which is a 100% foreign-direct investment. This subsidiary performs software development (Java, PHP, Python/Erlang, Ruby-on-Rail), business operations (setting up online ads, reporting/billing), and production support (system administration, database administration) for Connexus Corp. Currently, Connexus Corp has an interest to sell or transfer ownership of this subsidiary to a foreign company who has or wants to have an outsourcing operation in Vietnam. Please click here to send an email for more information.

We-Mo, Feb 2-7 TET Lunar New Year (Yr of the Cat) VN Holiday. Click on the link to learn more about this holiday and TET customs in Vietnam, the Lunar Year calendar. Traditionally there are four main holidays: TET Lunar New Year’s Eve (We, Feb 2), and The First (Th, Feb 3), Second (Fr, Feb 4), and Third (Sa, Feb 5) Days of TET Nguyen Dan. Since one of the official holidays is on the weekend, the holiday is observed from Wed, Feb 2 – Mo, Feb 7. Note: 2011 is the Year of the Cat in Vietnam, but the Year of the Rabbit in China. Pls click the link to find out why.

Eight straight days of holiday at TET Lunar New Year 2011 Based on a proposal from MOLISA, the Prime Minister approved an (optional) alternative holiday schedule for TET Lunar New Year and Hung Kings Fesitival in 2011.

U.S.-Asia/Pacific Regional Business Summit
Join over 250 delegates from business, government, and media for the U.S. – Asia/ Pacific Regional Business Summit. A platform to tackle business and policy issues in Asia and interact with senior U.S. Government Officials, including U.S. Ambassadors to Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and APEC who have confirmed to speak at the event along with senior officials from United States Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce. Key issues such as APEC, the Trans Pacific Partnership, the National Export Initiative and the APEC Business Travel Card. Moreover, the program will address the economic and business environment in Indonesia, Vietnam, India, China and ASEAN in particular. Click the link for more information and to register online.

Mo-Tu, Mar 28-29 APBO Asia Pacific Business Outlook, Los Angeles Access 14 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 14 economies by choosing from 60 focused sessions and private one-on-one consultations. Get the latest information and connect with expert and insiders.

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

First Solar to invest $ 1 billion to build factory in HCM City The plant will be built in Dong Nam Industrial Zone in Cu Chi, produce thin-film solar modules, and is expected to be operational by mid-2012. During the first phase, the plant will operate four manufacturing lines capable of producing an annual total capacity of 238MW. The capacity is expected to quadruple during the 2nd phase.

Storage technology key for Vietnam “There are two things that make Vietnam a good place for new technology,” said Hitachi’s CTO. “First, it is a green field, you do not have a legacy of old technologies that you have to carry forward, so you can implement new technology very quickly, and second, is the intellectual capability here.”

Vietnam’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Fell to $ 13.6 Billion, down from $ 14.1 billion in September and $ 23.9 billion in 2008. Moody’s Investors Service cited Vietnam’s level of foreign- exchange reserves as one of the main reasons it downgraded the country’s debt rating in December.

Vietnam must erase balance-of-payments deficit, Moody’s says “A primary concern is the risk of a balance-of-payments crisis, which we think has become elevated because of the balance-of-payments deficits in the past three years, and the rundown of reserves.” Containing inflation would help.

Vietnam bonds fall on inflation concern Vietnam faces “the risk of an overheating economy” and “double-digit inflation threatens economic stability,” ANZ Singapore-based analyst Hai Pham and chief Asia economist Paul Gruenwald wrote in a note yesterday.

U.S. Investment and Trade Opportunities in Vietnam’s Southern Key Economic Region A “third wave” of U.S. FDI interest in Vietnam offers business opportunities. A robust and efficient trading and distribution environment will promote and support FDI.

Southern Key Economic Region: Ports, Industrial Parks, and Other Infrastructure

Vietnam and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement) The TPP negotiating partners currently include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States. Malaysia has officially requested to join the TPP negotiations.

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

Last week’s most popular links to events and articles

2011 Membership Directory: Company Listing & Announcements
Eight (8) straight days of holiday at TET, Jan 31 – Feb 7
TET Lunar New Year 2011 (VN Holiday) – Year of the Cat – Feb 2-7, 2011
Party Congress Jan 12-19 in Hanoi
AmCham Dalat Winter Weekend, Fr- Su, Jan 21-23, 2011 POSTPONED
Feb 24 & Mar 3 Seminar on Investment Clinic Vietnam

Recent Events and Information Resources on AmCham Web Site

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

16 DecInvestment & Trade with Vietnam’s Southern Key Economic Region
14 Dec2010 Annual Report: Slides Notes
23 NovCai Mep Deepwater Ports: Vietnam’s Trans-Shipment Hub for ASEAN
.Presentation: Cai Mep Deepwater Ports
16 NovMembers Lunch: Vietnam’s Consumer Trends 2010
.Presentation: Vietnam’s Consumer Trends 2010
11 NovAAFA Briefing on U.S. Trade Policy: Implications for Vietnam
.Presentations on U.S. Trade Policy: Implications for Vietnam
.Welcome: Sesto Vecchi, Governor & Managing Partner, Russin & Vecchi
22 OctWork Force Development in Vietnam
.Presentation by Roma Arellano, Intel, and Jeff Goss, Arizona State Univ.
14 OctTowers, Watson 2010 Global Survey: Talent Management & Rewards
.Presentation by Yvonne Cox, Managing Director, Southeast Asia

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 4,000 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).