Weekly Update Jun 30: Secret Digital Weapon, Cleverlearn, Operational Auditing

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

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.

Special Thanks to our generous sponsors of the 2008 Independence Day Celebration & Family BBQ Click the link to see the logos of our many generous sponsors.

Tu, Jul 1 – Mo, Jul 14 Cleverlearn in HCM City offers special discounts to learn English To celebrate the July 4th American Independence Day, there will be a special discount of 47% of the tuition fee for all people that wish to learn English at Cleverlearn Language Center in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam if you register between July 1st to July 14th, 2008.

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.

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.

President Bush meets with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at the White House, Jun 24, 2008 President Bush welcomed Prime Minister Dung to the White House on June 24, 2008.

Special Thanks to Sponsors of Independence Day Celebration & Family BBQ Click the link to see our generous sponsors of the 2008 Independence Day Celebration and Family BBQ.

Alcoa and Vinacomin to cooperate in development of the aluminum industry in Vietnam Alcoa announced the signing of a Cooperation Agreement with Vietnam’s premier minerals development company, Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin), for cooperation in development of the aluminum industry in Vietnam, including bauxite mining and alumina refineries.

Stability or flexibility? (Bloomberg) On June 26, the central bank announced it would double—to 2 percent—the limit it imposes on the daily change in the tightly controlled official rate for trading Vietnamese dongs into U.S. dollars and vice versa. That does sound like a small move toward greater flexibility in what’s essentially a currency pegged to the U.S. dollar. And the central bank decided to ban trading in dong using currencies other than the dollar. The move seems to signal a preference for exchange-rate stability.

Vietnam’s Troubled Economy (Time) Vietnam’s government finds itself grappling with soaring prices, collapsing markets and an increasingly restive workforce. Inflation, now running at an annual rate of 25%, is eating up much of the gains made by citizens over the last several years. Vietnam’s stock market, which has fallen 58.5% since January, currently holds the unhappy title of being the worst-performing in the world in the last 30 days. Citing the government’s difficulty in reining in inflation, Moody’s, which grades creditworthiness, lowered Vietnam’s ratings outlook last week to negative from positive. Poor ratings signal that banks may have trouble meeting their financial obligations, undermining investors’ confidence in the country. In a nutshell, the economy overheated and the government was too slow to respond.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister tackles inflation (Time) This year, Vietnam’s outlook has dimmed. While GDP growth remains strong at more than 7%, the inflation rate has rocketed to 25%, there have been a large number of outbreaks of labor unrest and the stock market has plunged by nearly two-thirds since January, making it the worst-performing in the world. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung discusses the outlook in a Time Magazine interview.

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.

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

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.