Weekly Update Jul 28: Members Lunch, Masters of Food & Wine, West Coast Ports Slowdown

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

Weather in Vietnam and Western Pacific: satellite photos, typhoon forecasts, etc. Aug-Sep-Oct are the main months of the “West Pacific Typhoon Season.” Click on this link for satellite photos updated hourly. Typhoon Fung-Wong is predicted to cross Taiwan early this week.

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.

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 Breakfast 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 Productivity Slowdowns 20-30 percent. 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. 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.

Vietnam raises domestic fuel prices by up to 36 percent The fuel price increase came less than two weeks after the government pledged to keep fuel prices unchanged until the end of the year and to cover losses by state-run importers despite mounting pressure from high global energy prices. One economist predicted that inflation would rise beyond 30 percent in August and that there would be another increase of 2 percentage points in Vietnam’s base lending rate for banks, now at 14 percent.

Vietnam passes policy test, fails credibility game (Reuters) In spite of the gaffes in its communication, the Communist Party leadership has managed to crack the whip and bring a runaway economy back to some semblance of stability. “It may take some time for the situation to calm down,” ADB Vietnam country director Ayumi Konishi said, with “a negative impact on the stock market, worsen trade deficit situation and the currency can face another wave of pressure.”

Vietnam inflation hits 27 percent in July, trade gap widens The figures come after the Asian Development Bank on Tuesday warned Vietnam to take decisive measures to avoid the kind of economic meltdown suffered by Thailand in 1997, which triggered the Asian financial crisis.

Strike at S Korean footwear plant in Dong Nai Consumer price rises topped 27 percent year-on-year in July. The country last week surprisingly raised petroleum prices by 30 percent.

EU ends preferential tariffs for VN footwear, other goods The decision was taken after the Vietnamese goods were deemed to be competitive enough not to need preferential market access. Vietnam’s footwear makers warned the move would cost them over US$ 100 million and harm workers already suffering from double-digit inflation.

ADB says East Asia is behind in inflation fight The ADB’s report said: “In the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam, in particular, relatively rigid exchange-rate regimes—combined with rising food prices, rapidly growing domestic demand, tightening labor markets and strong foreign-exchange inflows—could push inflation out of control.”

World Bank Shots on Corruption (Wall Street Journal) The World Bank is nothing if not persistent. In recent weeks, the bank has announced low-interest loans of $ 320 million apiece to Bangladesh and Vietnam, despite their corruption records.

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).

Understanding the web browser threat and the “insecurity iceberg” There have been frequent reports of hundreds of thousands of Web sites succumbing to mass-defacement, which cause once benign sites to turn against their visitors. Even pages owned by institutions like the United Nations (un.org), the UK government (.gov.uk) and many others have succumbed to such attacks. In 2007, Google uncovered more than three million malicious Web addresses (URLs) that initiate “drive-by downloads.” More than 600 million users are at risk because they are not running the latest most secure Web browser version in June 2008. Click the link to learn more. 27 Jul 2008.

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