Weekly Update Jul 21: Members Lunch, Beautiful Hawaii, Masters of Food & Wine, West Coast Ports

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

Photo Albums from Independence Day Picnic Over 150 pictures.

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.

Fr-Mo, Aug 1-4: Hotel Equatorial welcomes Hawaiian Chef Kevin Chun Join us for a very special event in August and let us take you to Hawaii. Enjoy real Hawaiian cuisine prepared by guest chef Kevin Chun. On August 2 we would like to invite you for a charitable wine dinner and pamper your taste buds with Kevin’s creations. During your dinner Hawaiian star Nohelani Cypriano and her dancers will entertain you with their amazing show. Lean back, relax and feel the spirit of the world’s most romantic islands.

Fr, Aug 8: Members Lunch with U.S. Congressional Delegation Rep. Jerry Costello, Chairman, Aviation Subcommittee, with members of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Review airports and seaports operations. Click the link for more info and to register online.

We-Sa, Sep 3-6: Masters of Food and Wine Saigon at the Park Hyatt. From intimate gourmet dinner featuring distinguished guests chefs’ creations, wine workshops with winemakers from all continents, to exciting cooking sessions, the Masters of Food and Wine Saigon will be a most unique and memorable event of the year. For reservations and more information, please call +84 8 520 2357 or visit www.mfwsaigon.com.

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.

U.S. West Coast Ports longshore contract expired July 1. Unions urge “no wildcat strikes.” 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.

Ground breaking on $ 1.2 billion software park in Thu Thiem District of HCM City When the park becomes operational, it is expected to attract an additional $ 2.95 billion in foreign direct investment, contribute $ 4.3 billion in taxes, and create $ 6.5 billion in annual revenue.

World Bank Report on Vietnam’s Macroeconomic Situation To a large extent, Vietnam’s macroeconomic difficulties are homemade. With massive capital inflows in 2007, the government still chose to give priority to rapid growth. The monetary authority purchased large amounts of foreign currency to prevent the appreciation of the dong, and eventually failed to mop up the additional liquidity through the sale of bills. The growth in base money led to a rapid expansion in credit, mainly driven by joint stock banks. As a result, inflation accelerated and a real estate bubble developed. Ballooning imports of consumption goods added to an already large trade deficit, mainly associated with purchases of capital and intermediate goods. Investments by Economic Groups and General Corporations outside their core business fueled the asset price frenzy.

Arrest warrant served on Pacific Consultants International former president for income tax evasion In order to raise funds to send to foreign government officials over development projects financed with low-cost loans from the Japanese government, the prosecutors said. PCI sources earlier said that the company had remitted 100-200 million yen each year to a Hong Kong-based business firm, which is linked with a former PCI executive official, as funds to win favor from foreign government officials.

PCI cash for Vietnam official probed by Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office (Yomiuri) The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is investigating the alleged bribes, suspecting they constitute a violation of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law, which bans the bribing of overseas public servants. The prosecutors have asked the Vietnamese judicial authorities for their cooperation in the investigation.

HCMC probes bribery allegations for highway project The Ho Chi Minh City administration has said it is investigating allegations that officials from a public agency received a large bribe from a Japanese company in 2003 for securing contracts for a highway project. The East-West Highway project is expected to finish in the first quarter of 2010 with an investment of VND9.8 trillion ($ 581.6 million), funded by Japanese official development assistance.

Communist Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh Promotes Ho Chi Minh’s Example Public discussions would focus on “Ho Chi Minh’s thought and morals on practising thriftiness and fighting corruption, waste and bureaucracy.

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).

Google gives away free Web application security scanner Weak web application security continues to embarrass companies, potentially causing the loss of customer or financial data. A 2006 survey by the Web Application Security Consortium found that 85.57% of 31,373 sites were vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks, 26.38% were vulnerable to SQL injection and 15.70% had other faults that could lead to data loss. July 13, 2008.

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.

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