Weekly Update Jul 14: Members Lunch, West Coast Ports Contract Expired July 1

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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.

Photos from the 2008 Independence Day Celebration & Family BBQ Over 150 photos.

Th, Jul 24: Request for comments on Draft Revised Land Law. Download the Draft Revised Land Law (in Vietnamese) and provide comments by July 24, 2008.

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.

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.

Vietnam Dong Investors Use Black Market for Dollars (Bloomberg) The dong has dropped 5 percent this year. Traders are pricing in an 18 percent drop in the coming year to 20,500. “The central bank is not providing dollars, except to some importers and some working capital for exporters. That’s why there is some depreciation pressure.” The risk is Vietnam exhausts its currency reserves of $ 22 billion supplying dollars or that “overkill” in cooling growth causes losses at state banks.

Korea, India, Vietnam Currency Interventions May Fail – Morgan Stanley “By far, the strongest pressure is on the Vietnamese dong” due to its limited foreign-exchange reserves. Morgan Stanley estimates Vietnam’s reserves to be $ 27 billion, India’s $ 302 billion, the world’s fourth biggest, and South Korea’s $ 258 billion. Vietnam will be forced to “realign” the dong, Newnham said. Traders are pricing in an 18 percent decline in the coming year to 20,500 per dollar.

Vietnam crisis strikes Korean firms (The Korea Times) Steel giant POSCO lost its joint venture partner Vinashin, which cancelled plans last month to invest $ 1 billion in a $ 5 billion steel mill project. Another big gambler in the Vietnam game is Kumho Asiana Group, which is pumping heavy cash into its diverse projects there. From building hotels, golf courses to a major urban center, the conglomerate has been kicking off new leads one after another. Analysts warn that if some of the heavily-invested projects don’t see solid resu

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.

Photos from AmCham’s Independence Day Family Picnic Over 150 photos.

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.

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