Weekly Update Jan 31: TET Lunar New Year, Employee Engagement, U.S.-Asia/Pacific Business Summit

Highlights

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)
We, Feb 16 Member Lunch: Engagement Indicator Survey 2011 Briefing
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

From now until Feb. 28, Tet Holiday Special Offer – Six Senses Con Dao Take advantage of a limited time offer at Vietnam’s Newest Luxury Resort The Six Senses Con Dao. AMCHAM Members and their friends will receive an Ocean Front Villa at the local resident rate of $315++ per night with the third night free. At $210++ per night for a three night stay, this represents a 75% discount over the normal rates of $790++ per night. Airport transfers and breakfast for two are included.

We-Sa, Feb 2-5 Legend Hotel Saigon’s Tet celebration Celebrate the most important holiday of Vietnamese people with family and friends at the renowned Atrium Cafe. The hotel’s experienced local Chefs will add to its buffet spread delicacies from the Northern, Central and Southern regions of Vietnam.

Th-Sa, Feb 3-12 Morel Mushroom at Caravelle Hotel Reflections Restaurant will celebrate morels, that most exquisite fungi that’s particularly esteemed by the finest French chefs.

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.

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. Note also the special (optional) holiday schedule below.

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.

Seeking interviews in Hanoi about Vietnam’s transition to a market economyTwo widely-published researchers will be in Hanoi after TET 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.

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

Interview with the new Party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong “There are three keys for breakthrough: infrastructure, human resources and institution. We have to strive from now until 2015 to build foundations to become an industrialized country by 2020.”

International integration serves the nation’s development A comprehensive strategy on international integration with specific goals and roadmaps for each stage, particularly until 2020 and in the areas of economic development, defense, security and social culture.

11th National Party Congress hears presentations on essential matters Deputies highlighted building a strong working class for industrialization and modernization (VGCL President), to defend the Fatherland (Minister of Public Security), combatting corruption (National Anti-corruption Campaign Steering Committee), developing the transitional period to socialism, and the role of State-owned corporations.

Rising China prices boost Vietnam sourcing: Global Sources survey 31% of buyers said they will increase procurement from Vietnam, mainly consumer products such as hardware and fashion accessories, while some from the U. S. and Canada would purchase personal electronics. China’s apparel exporters are already seeing the effects of the sourcing shift, as Vietnam-made garments are 30 percent cheaper. China’s exports of basic apparel, in particular, have been hit hard.

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
U.S. – Asia/Pacific Regional Business Summitt, Mar 3-4, Singapore
First Solar to invest $ 1 billion to build factory in HCM City
Seeking interviews about Vietnam’s transition to market economy
Jan 14 – Feb 27 Legend Hotel Saigon’s Tet Weekend Package

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.

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