Weekly Update Jul 07: Members Lunch, Operational Auditing, West Coast Ports Contract Expired

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

Upcoming Events and Activities (next two weeks)

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

List of Independence Day Lucky Draw Prizes and Winning Ticket Numbers Some of the many prizes have not yet been claimed by the winners. Please click the link to download the list of prizes and winning ticket numbers. If you a winner, please send an email to Ms. Cindy Tran to make arrangements to come to the AmCham office with your winning ticket stub and pick up your prize.

Special Thanks to our generous sponsors of the 2008 Independence Day Celebration & Family BBQ Click the link to see the logos of our many generous sponsors.

We, Jul 30: Members Lunch U.S. Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton The U.S. Maritime Administration promotes the use of waterborne transportation and its seamless integration with other segments of the transportation system. Visiting Vietnam for U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Maritime Consultations, key issues for discussion include port congestion and infrastructure delays. Join us for a discussion of how U.S. companies are affected by the challenges Vietnam’s infrastructure presents, and what the outlook for improvements might be. Click the link for more information and to register online.

Mo-Tu, Sep 8-9 “Operational Auditing: A Risk & Self-Assessment Based Approach” by: James Roth Ph.D., CIA, CCSA. You will not just hear about value-adding audit practices. You will get the actual audit tools and learn how to apply them – including the challenges and how to tailor them to your own organization’s culture and management style. Click the link for more information and to download the registration form.

Sa, Dec 6: AmCham Governors Ball: SAVE THE DATE A formal event held in the festive style of the season, to raise funds for community support programs funded by and through the AmCham-United Way partnership.

All upcoming events …

News and Issues Updates

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

Special Thanks to Sponsors of Independence Day Celebration & Family BBQ Click the link to see our generous sponsors of the 2008 Independence Day Celebration and Family BBQ.

Request for Comment: Review to consider Vietnam as a Beneficiary Developing Country under the GSP A Federal Register Notice dated June 20, 2008 announced a U.S. Government review to consider designating the Socialist Republic of Vietnam as a beneficiary developing country (BDC) for purposes of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, and solicited public comments on whether Vietnam meets certain eligibility criteria for such designation. Comments are due by Monday, August 4, 2008, and must be submitted in accordance with the requirements set out in the notice.

U.S. West Coast Ports Longshore contract expired July 1, but cargo continues to move The contract covers about 20,000 unionized workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. PMA and ILWU officials said they hope to avoid a repeat of the bitter 2002 labor dispute that eventually led to a 10-day shutdown of the ports, with economic losses estimated at about $ 15 billion, that ended only when President Bush intervened. The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the third-largest port complex in the world, handle about 40 percent of U.S. shipped cargo.

Supply chain complexity rising with energy costs, commodity prices, excess manufacturing capacity “Is this really about the toughest it’s ever been in the ‘modern supply chain era?’ The 1990s, when supply chain thinking really took off, seem like ‘the dead ball era’ (baseball term) now by comparison. The good news is that it makes the supply chain more important than ever….” “But it makes the day-to-day awfully tough. Will it get better? Or are we just at the start of even more tumult and pressure?

Yahoo! Southeast Asia Chief says VN potential is “great” Vietnam is Yahoo!’s top priority in Southeast Asia, he said. With 15 million users in Vietnam already, the country’s potential is great. A new product, Blog 360o-Plus has been developed specifically for Vietnam’s market.

Who’s afraid of a feverish economy? (Business Week) Wait a minute. Isn’t Vietnam’s economy having one of its worst years ever? Well, the stock market is down more than 60% since January, and housing prices are off by a third. Inflation is raging at 25%, the trade deficit is ballooning, and the currency, the dong, is headed south as people buy dollars and gold.

Strikers to pay costs for illegal strikes Local People’s Courts to decide. Compensation up to three months’ wages.

Can Tho airport to be opened in early 2009 and is expected to become an international one by 2010, when it will receive long-haul airplanes. So, the next phase of the project will include extending the runway to 3,000 meters for the wide-bodied aircraft Boeing B777s and B747-400s to land and take off.

Foreign currency reserves = $ 20.7 billion – State Bank of VN reveals “state secrets” to investors The unprecedented information was revealed in a dialogue sponsored by the World Bank (WB) with the participation of the Asia Development Bank (ADB), the institutions that have been supporting and encouraging the policies in most of Vietnam’s development issues. It is clear that WB and ADB, with their influence and prestige, want to create a way for Vietnam to explain to international investors about its current situation, which has been distorted by many international financial institutions.

With GSP, Vietnamese goods will go direct to US, not via transshipments Currently, a lot of Vietnamese commodities have to enter the US through third countries due to the high tax if shipped directly from Vietnam. As Vietnamese commodities go through third countries, they cannot bear the original names, and are not considered Vietnamese products. This is happening with blue dragon fruit and Phu Quoc fish sauce. By transshipment through countries with GSP, they have lower import tax.

Beware corrupt payments abroad A company with operations abroad looking for some excitement can likely find it by avoiding affirmative management of its risks arising from the potential that corrupt payments are made in its foreign operations. The risks are much greater than even serious financial penalties: major loss of revenue; trashing of corporate reputations; good deals going south through discovery, after-the-fact, of corrupt payment schemes in acquisitions and joint ventures; and individuals losing their jobs—and their liberty—are all features of the fallout from enforcement cases.

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

Event Presentations, Downloads, and PHOTO ALBUMS

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.

Presentation: Grade A office rents in HCMC to reach US$ 100/sqm. Can you afford it? Rising office rents affect us all, whether your company is in a shop house or a Grade A office tower. Savills Vietnam believes Grade A rents will top US$ 100 per sqm in the next 2 years. Have you planned for this in your budgets? Couldn’t attend the lunch on Th, Feb 28? Click the link to download the presentation and find out where the market is going and decide how it affects your business.

Online Membership Directory Looking for information on AmCham members? Click here to browse the Online Membership Directory for information about and contact points for our 400 member and associate companies, and about 800 representatives. Also with links to their 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.

Your announcement in AmCham’s Weekly Update email Early each week, AmCham’s Weekly Update email goes out to nearly 800 representatives of over 400 AmCham member and associate companies, plus thousands of subscribers in Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, and the USA. We welcome event announcements that are of interest to our business readers.

Computing Tips from the AmCham Webmaster

Not receiving AmCham’s weekly update emails? Then, please check your spam of junk mail folder. To insure that you receive all future communication from AmCham, please add our email address to your address-book and to your “safe list” or “white list” (if applicable).

Computing Tips: Senator Obama’s Secret Digital Weapon A small, obscure firm called Blue State Digital, a market research-New Media hybrid has played an instrumental role. Its handiwork and technology can be seen in the more than $ 200 million Obama has raised online, the 2 million phone calls made on the candidate’s behalf, and in barackobama.com’s social network of 850,000 users, who have organized 50,000 campaign events. 24 Jun 2008.

Computing Tips: Bill Gates – PC Genius, Internet Fool (Time) The Internet, for all its world-flattening glory, is a destroyer of businesses without parallel. How many companies roared along for decades, minting money, only to see the Internet eat their business plans? We live in a media age and the media industry is Exhibit 1 in the murder trial. Newspapers, magazines, music, television, movies—all of the traditional models are dead or dying as bloodied moguls everywhere scramble to survive. But the Net has brutalized old-line businesses—retail, telecom, financial services and the technology industry itself, is, ironically, no exception.

Vietnam’s New Collaboration Portal Goes Live on IBM Cloud The Vietnam Information for Science and Technology Advance Innovation Portal goes live on an IBM cloud computing infrastructure. Further, IBM and Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City today signed a Memorandum Of Understanding about SSME education and IT Service Curriculum (ITSC) for students and information technology (IT) professionals. VNU-HCMC will be the first in the country to adopt such a program jointly created with IBM. 10 May 2008.

Yahoo! Southeast Asia Chief says VN potential “great” Vietnam is Yahoo!’s top priority in Southeast Asia, he said. With 15 million users in Vietnam already, the country’s potential is great. A new product, Blog 360Plus has been developed specifically for Vietnam’s market, while an online video clip, featuring Tam, the heroine of Vietnam’s most popular folk story, Tam Cam (Vietnam version of Cinderella), who searches on Yahoo! for a machine that can help her sort beans, has become wildly popular. 10 May 2008.

Weekly Update emails are sent from [email protected], If you use a SPAM Filter please add this address email address book or “Whitelist.”

Please click this link if you want to update your email address.

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