Weekly Update Mar 03: New Tax Laws, International Dispute Resolution

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

We, Mar 5 Deadline to register for Workshops on Trading Rights and Distribution Rights with officials from the Ministry of Industry and Trade The purpose of the workshops, to be held in both HCM City and Hanoi the week of Mar 17-21, is to discuss Vietnam’s regulations on trading rights and distribution rights with enterprises, Vietnam’s WTO commitments in this area, problems enterprises encounter when these regulations are implemented and recommendations for changes in the regulations to make them more business friendly. Click the link for information and to register your interest in participating.

Date Change from Mar 6 to Fr, Mar 7 Vietnam Business Forum-Ministry of Finance Meeting re New Draft Tax Laws The VBF Tax Working Sub-Group is holding a meeting with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) on the Draft Law on Corporate Income Tax and VAT on this March 6 at the MOF office in Hanoi. Effective from Jan 1, 2009, these new laws will affect every business in Vietnam. Click the link for details and to download comments on the new draft Corporate Income Tax and Value Added Tax laws.

Sa, Mar 8 International Women’s Day (Cultural Day) In Vietnam today, the International Women’s Day tradition sees men and boys honoring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

Mo, Mar 10 Toy Industry Seminar – Product Safety for Exports to U.S. Faced with product recalls and consumer safety issues, a new U.S. Consumer Product Safety Act will affect Vietnam’s toy exports to the U.S. Attend this seminar to learn about safety requirements, conformity assessment, and how to protect your market access in the U.S. market for toys. Click the link for information and to register.

Tu, Mar 11 Visual Workplace Workshop The Visual Workplace is “a comprehensive methodology for transforming the entire physical workspace and making work safer, simpler, more logical, more standardised, more fluid, more linked and far less costly – while ensuring that these outcomes are not just repeatable but sustainable.”

Tu, Mar 18 Logistics & Supply Chain Meeting with China Logistics Council Discussion meeting with China-based logistics/supply chain management executives, followed by a port tour and briefing on port development plans for the Southern Key Economic Zone. Click the link for details and to register online.

Fr-Sa, Mar 21-22 Discover and Create GREAT Companies Based on the best-selling business book *“Good to Great,”* this two-day workshop takes you on a journey to DISCOVER and LEARN how good companies made the leap to become great companies with great results, and also sustain greatness for at least 15 years. Click the link for more information and to register online.

Singer Jen Woodhouse at the Park Lounge (Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel) Visit Park Lounge at Park Hyatt Saigon to enjoy the beautiful voice of American singer Jen Woodhouse every evening (except Tuesdays) from January 24 to April 23, 2008.

SMART HR and Watson Wyatt announce 2008 Vietnam Total Rewards Survey, which provides significant insights into market practices that are very useful for companies to determine compensation and benefit packages. Participation will enable you to benchmark against others in major industries in Vietnam; validate information on market practices and trends; design competitive compensation and benefit packages; become eligible for attractive participant rates, and more.

News and Issues Updates

New member and associate companies. Click on the link to learn more about the latest companies to join AmCham.

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.

Click this link for News Highlights.

Office tenants start considering alternatives as office rents continue to climb According to CBRE, a square meter of Grade A property in District 1 costs US$ 50-60, while a square meter of Grade B property costs US$ 30-40. Currently, all Grade A space is fully occupied and Grade B is experiencing 98% capacity.

EVN proposes 67% increase in electric power retail rates The state monopoly power supplier Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) has proposed a 67 percent increase in retail power tariffs. At the same time, EVN said it was expecting power shortages during the dry season this year, and called on government offices to reduce power usage by 10 percent this year to save energy. EVN said it would need to invest $ 30 billion to build 33,200 MW of new generation capacity by 2015.

Inflation hits 10-year high in February 15.7% State Bank of Viet Nam fiscal policies on tightening liquidity kept a lid on inflation in February; however, inflation would continue rising in March due to this week’s increase in fuel prices and the ongoing impact of severe weather on food supplies.

Ministry of Health proposes to double tax on workers for health insurance to cover free riders More than 10 million poor adults, 10 million children under six years of age, 6 million elderly and 12 million ethnic minority people are covered without making contributions. By 2012, the Government would need to spend VND35 trillion ($ 2.2 billion) on health insurance for these groups. Next year alone, that figure is expected to be VND20 trillion ($ 1.3 billion).

Flowserve to pay $ 10.5 million in Foreign Corrupt Practices (FCPA) cases The company agreed to pay a $ 4 million fine to settle DOJ allegations that between July 2002 and February 2003 employees of subsidiary Flowserve Pompes SAS paid $ 604,651 to the Iraqi government and offered to pay a further $ 173,758 in kickbacks to obtain contracts for large-scale water pumps and spare parts for oil refineries.

U.S. firm to pay $ 300,000 penalty to resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations in India The firm has acknowledged responsibility for the actions of a subsidiary firm in India and its employees and agents who made various payments to officials of the Indian Railway Board (IRB), a government agency which is part of India’s Ministry of Railroads. These payments were made in order to: assist Pioneer in obtaining and retaining business with the IRB; schedule pre-shipping product inspections; obtain issuance of product delivery certificates; and curb what the subsidiary considered to be excessive tax audits.

Click this link for 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.

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).

How sticky is membership on Facebook? Just try breaking free. Some users have discovered that it is nearly impossible to remove themselves entirely from Facebook, setting off a fresh round of concern over the popular social network’s use of personal data. Only people who contact Facebook’s customer service department are informed that they must painstakingly delete, line by line, all of the profile information, “wall” messages and group memberships they may have created within Facebook.

Weekly Update emails are sent from [email protected], If you use a SPAM Filter please add this address email address book or “Whitelist.”

Please click this link if you want to update your email address.

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