Weekly Update Jul 2: U.S.-ASEAN Business Forum, APEC Business Advisory Council

Highlights

Raffle Prize Winners, USA Independence Day Celebration & Family Picnic
Fr, Jul 13 U.S.-ASEAN Business Forum, Siam Reap, Cambodia
Mo, Jul 16 APEC Business Advisory Council – Investment Conference
Tu, Jul 17 Legal & VBF Liaison Committee
Presentation: eCustoms at Intel Products Vietnam
Welcome to new AmCham companies • Jan ~ Jun 2012
FDI into Vietnam continues to fall: down 27.3% in first half of 2012
Myanmar: New challenges for Vietnam: FDI in Myanmar has skyrocketed …
Vietnam maps out strategy to attract FDI in supporting industries
Vietnam – U.S. Trade Status and Outlook, 2011 – 2020e (updated Jun 26, 2012)
Many Foreign Invested Enterprises (FIEs) face closure
The unlearned lesson: Vinashin, VinaLines, and other SOEs’ inefficiencies
Sep – Dec AmCham Scholarship 2012
Tu, Nov 6, U.S. General Elections Day • U.S. Voter Registration Web Sites

Events, Meetings, Activities, and Special Offers

Welcome to new AmCham companies 46 new companies have joined AmCham in Jan-Jun. Brief descriptions, activities, representatives’ names, and links to their web sites for additional information.

Special Fare For AmCham’s Members from Korean Air Korean Air rewards all Amcham’s members up to13% discount on fares to the United States, Korea, Japan and China. Save your travelling cost and enjoy excellent service with Korean Air.

American Food Fest at Hotel Equatorial HCMC In conjunction with 4th of July, American Independence Day Celebration, the 5-star hotel Equatorial HCMC is to debut American Food Fest at the hotel’s two award-winning restaurants: Chit Chat Restaurant and Orientica Seafood Restaurant

Tu-Mo, Jul 3 – 9 Taste of America at Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon A celebration of the nation’s most treasured dishes from coast to coast: American steaks, grilled lamp chops, hot dogs, American pie and much more to discover. Treat yourself, family and friends to a mouthwatering dinner at Riverside Cafe where you dine in elegance minus the passport.

Using customer connections to drive growth Now more than ever, ‘knowing your customer’ is more than simply an exercise in segmentation and the gathering of customer information. CEOs of outperforming organizations recognize the importance of gaining a multidimensional understanding of their customers and are constantly looking for ways to deepen their insights across all areas of their organizations in order to better connect with their customers.

We, Jul 4 American Independence Day at Legend Hotel Saigon Celebrate the birthday of the United States of America in style at the hotel’s renowned Atrium Café with Saigon’s most spectacular buffet including traditional gourmet dishes.

Until Sep 30, Sundowner Weekend Special at New World Saigon Hotel Book a single or double occupancy at New World Saigon Hotel and enjoy our Unwind or Relax Sundowner Weekend Special which include an overnight stay in one of our guest rooms, a sumptuous buffet breakfast at Parkview and a sunset cocktail with tapas or a relaxing 60-minutes massage by the pool.

Advance Notice: Sep – Nov AmCham Scholarship 2012 AmCham will grant scholarships to up to 45 top students from universities in HCM City.

Tu, Nov 6, U.S. General Elections Day • U.S. Voter Registration Web Sites More than 6 million Americans live overseas. If the overseas American community were a state, we would be the 18th most-populous state in the union. Our votes count … click the link to register online, get a ballot, and vote.

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

FDI into Vietnam continues to fall: down 27.3% in first half of 2012 FDI into Vietnam only registered US$ 5.96 billion in the first half of 2012, a sharp fall of 27.3% from the same period of 2011, and continuing the drop of 26% in 2011. If present trends continue, FDI in 2012 could be about one-half of FDI in 2010.

Myanmar: New challenges for Vietnam FDI in Myanmar has skyrocketed since the country reopened its doors. From 2010 to 2011, it took in over US$ 20 billion in foreign capital, more than the amount it had received in the two previous decades. Of that number, China (including Hong Kong) is the largest foreign investor in Myanmar to the tune of US$ 15.5 billion followed by Thailand with US$ 9.56 billion, South Korea with US$ 2.92 billion, Britain with US$ 2.66 billion, and Singapore with US$ 1.82 billion.

Vietnam maps out strategy to attract FDI in supporting industries: focus on Japanese SMEs The strategy proposes reform of Decree 87/2010/ND-CP issued in 2010 detailing import and export duty regulations, with supporting industry firms to be eligible for five-year import duty exemption. “If we don’t do anything in the next three years, Japanese SMEs will expand investments in other countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and even Myanmar and Cambodia.”

Vietnam – U.S. Trade Status and Outlook, 2011 – 2020e (updated Jun 26, 2012) Based on four months’ data, bilateral trade may increase by about 10% 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.

Many Foreign Invested Enterprises (FIEs) face closure 784 FIEs missed the re-registration deadline on July 1, 2011 and now face having to stop operating once their investment licences expire. Some 27 FIEs must stop operating in 2012 and 174 others will share the problem in 2013 and 2014. Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, in its proposal to the prime minister, suggested two options. FIEs could receive certificates of operation extension or they be granted new investment certificates with new corporate names and copy all operating content of the previous certificates.

Vietnam banks may increase dollar purchases Experts are warning of a a dollar shortage in Vietnam later this year.

In Vietnam, a shipping line raises alarm over debt (SOEs) SOEs have come under growing scrutiny since the government revealed on June 12 that debt at Vietnam National Shipping Lines, or Vinalines, was 43.1 trillion dong ($ 2.1 billion) at the end of 2011, more than four times its equity of 9.41 trillion dong. That drew comparisons with the near-collapse two years ago of state shipbuilder Vinashin, whose $ 4.5 billion debt triggered concerns over the health of Vietnam’s banks. Vinashin was eventually bailed out, but nine of its executives were sent to jail in March, convicted of mismanaging state resources.

Vinalines sails into stormy financial seas: considering divesting three port investments Vinalines will “analyse the efficiency of the method for reducing state investment capital and increase contributions of private partners, including foreign ones in the ports.” Cai Mep International Terminal, SP-PSA International Port and SP-SSA International Container Terminal are jointly invested by Denmark’s APM Terminals BV, Singapore’s PSA International and US’ SSA Marines, respectively. Vinalines now holds 51 per cent stakes in each port.

Tholons ranks HCM City 17th, Hanoi 21st as software outsourcing destinations HCM City still can see its name in the list of the top 10 newly emerging destinations (the nations from the 11th to the 20th in the top 100 are considered the most redoubtable rivals to the nations in the top 10). Tholons reserved a whole page in its report to analyze the capability of HCM City.

Apple’s iTunes expands in Vietnam Apple expanded its iTunes Store in Vietnam, as well as Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and other countries, including Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. But not India or China.

Vietnam entrepreneurs find fertile ground online Internet entrepreneur earns twice as much money each month selling tropical fruit online to Hanoi housewives as she does from her day job working at a local post office.”It’s fun and has become a major source of income for me,” she said.

More Vietnamese millionaires, but poor households account for 20% of the population The number of US$ millionaires in Vietnam amounted to nearly 170 last year, with 100 richest people on the stock exchange holding assets worth over US$ 2 million each and two people meeting requirements of the US$ 100-million club. However, the number of poor households nationwide was one million, up 50% under the new poverty standards and accounting for 20% of the population.

PetroVietnam blasts Chinese oil firm for international bid invitation CNOOC on June 23 announced the invitation of international bids for nine oil and gas blocks, with a total area of 160,129 square kilometers. However, it is shown that these blocks lie deeply on the continental shelf of Vietnam, overlapping blocks from 128 to 132 and from 145 to 156 where PVN are operating.

Troubled waters: Illegal Chinese fish farming in Cam Ranh Bay Many Chinese have illegally farmed fish there for years without any intervention from State agencies. They do not have work permits, do not own business certificates, do not pay taxes, and do not even have residence approval in the locality. Even worse, the illegal presence of foreigners in the locality puts national defense and security at stake given the importance of the military facilities in the region.

Banks in Vietnam had weaker 2011 results, face rising debts Earlier this month, governor Nguyen Van Binh told the National Assembly the system’s bad debt had risen to 10 percent of loans from 6 percent earlier, but he gave no specific timeframe.

OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) The first international benchmark to help governments in improving the corporate governance of SOEs. They are based on and fully compatible with the Principles, but are explicitly oriented to issues that are specific to the corporate governance of SOEs.

ADB: Asian Development Outlook 2012 – Vietnam Outlook Safeguarding the banking sector should be the immediate priority. The longer-term requirement is to develop a diversified and efficient financial system that can mobilize the funding to meet the 7-8 percent economic growth target. These complex reforms, which will take years to complete, would benefit from coordination with the proposed restructuring of SOEs.

China + One = Vietnam and ASEAN ASEAN has the third-largest economy in Asia, after Japan and China. U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) into ASEAN totaled $130 billion in 2007, the largest destination for U.S. FDI in Asia, and has grown 55% since 2004. As a developing region, ASEAN per capita income is low but its GDP is rapidly growing: an almost 170% increase over the past decade.

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

Last week’s most popular links to events and articles

We, Jun 27 Palooza Party
Door Prizes – 2012 USA Independence Day Picnic in Ho Chi Minh City
Welcome to new AmCham companies • Jan ~ Jun 2012
Intel Presentation: E-Customs Briefing/Q&A Session
Vietnam Economic Indicators: World Bank East Asia & Pacific Update, May 2012
Sa, Jun 3 236th USA Independence Day Family Picnic
Vietnam Outlook: World Bank East Asia & Pacific Update, May 2012
The unlearned lesson: Vinashin, VinaLines, and other SOEs’ inefficiencies
Other popular information downloads

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.

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 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).