Weekly Update Jun 23: Independence Day Celebration

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Upcoming Events and Activities (next two weeks)

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

We, Jun 25 Deadline to submit application for Speech Contest at Independence Day Celebration for young Vietnamese (ages 16-25).

We, Jun 25, University of Hawaii Shidler College of Business will provide information about its Executive MBA Program in Ho Chi Minh City. Renowned for its expertise in international management and ranked among the top 25 graduate schools in the US for international business. Click the link for more information and to register.

Sa, 28 June 2008 Independence Day Celebration and Family Picnic Join us for an old-fashioned celebration with scrumptuous food, fun and games for children and parents, great door prizes, and good music at AmCham’s Annual Independence Day Celebration and Family Picnic. Limited to 600 AmCham Members and their Family and Guests. This week is the last chance for members to finalize sponsorship for the event, and sponsors’ logos will be printed on Tickets starting May 27. Tickets available on June 7.

Tu, July 1 Compass: Guide Your Way To Remuneration Structuring! 2008 VIETNAM TOTAL REWARDS SURVEY – MID-YEAR MARKET UPDATE & COMPASS DEMO In the seminar, you will be provided with the current remuneration market trends (findings from the survey, data as March 31, 2008), the introduction of Compass on-line program and its portable device, and the discussion of hottest human resource management (HRM) issues. Click the link for more information and to register.

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.

As Vietnam’s market plunges, optimism turns to anxiety The plunge in the country’s stock market has been as stunning as its ascent. The benchmark VNindex surged 144 percent in 2006 and another 56 percent last year. Since hitting a high of 1,179 in March 2007, the key index has sunk to a two-year low of 384 last week. Despite its short-term difficulties, Vietnam is likely to continue making significant economic progress. “The longer-term economic reform story that made Vietnam such an attractive destination for foreign direct investment in recent years remains a compelling one.”

Miracle to mirage in Vietnam Investment bank Morgan Stanley recently warned that loose bank lending has created a banking crisis. International ratings agency Fitch in May lowered its outlook for Vietnam’s sovereign debt to “negative” from “stable,” stating that the country’s response to rising inflation “has been too slow and too small.” It reiterated those warnings on Friday.

330 illegal strikes in six months The confederation’s Vice Chairman, Mai Duc Chinh, said that under the current regulations, only grassroots trade unions have the right to organise strikes, but this regulation is unrealistic because there is no mechanism to protect trade union leaders and most employers don’t positively cooperate with trade unions.

Bank loans likely to be up 20% over 2007, but growth is slowing “Outstanding loans rising 19.99 percent is still higher than growth in the same period last year but it is on a gradual falling trend,” the Banking Times newspaper, run by the State Bank of Vietnam, quoted a central bank report as saying.

GE Money (GE Consumer Finance) to start operating in Vietnam The company will be permitted to issue bills and bonds, issue credit cards and provide loans in Vietnam, the SBV said.

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.

Tricky Terrain on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Ace The FCPA covers corrupt payments to what you think of as government officials. But in fact it applies to any employees of government departments, government agencies and instrumentalities. Then there are two other parts that apply to public companies. Those deal with books and records and internal controls. The issue for many public companies is that the books and records provisions are very easy to violate because there’s no intent required, unlike the anti-bribery provision where you have to have a corrupt intent. So it’s the broad definition of foreign officials, it’s the influence of gifts and entertainment and it’s also the use of intermediaries, agents, consultants, business facilitators, whatever you want to call it. Those really impact 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

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Google’s CEO on “Cloud Computing” Google is a cloud computing server, and in fact we are spending billions of dollars, this is public information, to build data centers, which are in one sense a return to the mainframe. In another sense, they’re one large supercomputer. And in another sense, they are the cloud itself. 27 Apr 2008.

From South Asia to iTunes How a husband-and-wife team turned an Indian music podcast series into a business and is making the most out of its Apple storefront on its Web site, where it sells Indian music from Bollywood hits to Bhangra classics, remixed with rap and pop, via iTunes, Apple’s online music store. 06 Apr 2008.

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