Weekly Update Mar 7: Legal Committee, Furniture Fair, Town Hall, VN Competitiveness Index

Highlights

Tu, Mar 8 Legal Committee Meeting
Fr-Mo, Mar 11-14 Vietnam International Furniture & Home Accessories Fair
Tu, Mar 15 Morning Coffee and Meet the U.S. Consulate General
Fr, Mar 18 Special Lunch: Vietnam Provincial Competitiveness Index 2010
Mo-Tu, Mar 28-29 APBO Asia Pacific Business Outlook, Los Angeles
Tu, Apr 5 How to Meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Requirements
Tu, Apr 5 Cloud Computing: Opportunities and Challenges in Vietnam
Tu, Apr 12 Hung Kings’ Festival Day

Events, Meetings, Activities, and Special Offers for Members

Tu-Th, Mar 1-31, Two Night Package from US$ 599++ at Six Sense Con Dao Package includes two nights accommodation in an Appointed villa; daily breakfast; round trip transfer on Con Dao; and one set 2 course dinner excluding beverages. For US$ 799++ we can include two airfares. Rates are based on double occupancy. Local Residents cards must be shown upon arrival.

Tu, Mar 8 Legal Committee Meeting Upcoming events & speakers, US/Vietnam trade talks, position papers and topics to monitor, report on Project 30.

Tu, Mar 8 Women’s Day at Legend Hotel Saigon Celebrate this internationally-recognized day in style at the renowned Atrium Café with Saigon’s most spectacular buffet.

Th-Fr, Mar 10-18 U.S. Beef Promotion at Reflections Restaurant Diners can select from an assortment of traditional favorites, including Black Angus Beef Strip Loin, Top Blade (Flat Iron), Chuck Eye Roll, Tenderloin and Rib Eye. Prices start at VND 150,000++ per 100 grams.

Fr-Mo, Mar 11-14 Vietnam International Furniture & Home Accessories Fair Exhibition of Vietnamese furniture, handicraft fine arts, and other wood products. Organized by the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City.

Tu, Mar 15 Morning Coffee and Meet the U.S. Consulate General Introductions and key issues updates brief from the U.S. Consulate General. AmCham companies and staff and invited guests are welcome and encouraged to attend! Meet the Consul General, Mr. An Le, and Key Officers, including …

We, Mar 16 Tea Dinner at Reflections Restaurant The chefs at Refections are breaking out the tea kettles for a special dinner promotion. For each cup of Ronnefeldt tea – Darjeeling Summer Gold, Herbs and Ginger, Green Dragon, Assam Bari and Vanilla Rooibos – the chefs are cooking up complements of cobia, parsnip soup, barramundi, lamb loin and ice cream.

Business Opportunity for a foreign company that has or wants to have an outsourcing operation in Vietnam. In 2005, Connexus Corp (www.connexuscorp.com) established a Vietnam subsidiary, which is a 100% foreign-direct investment. This subsidiary performs software development (Java, PHP, Python/Erlang, Ruby-on-Rail), business operations (setting up online ads, reporting/billing), and production support (system administration, database administration) for Connexus Corp. Currently, Connexus Corp has an interest to sell or transfer ownership of this subsidiary to a foreign company who has or wants to have an outsourcing operation in Vietnam. Please send an email to [email protected] for more information.

Fr, Mar 18 Special Lunch: Vietnam Provincial Competitiveness Index 2010 Assess and benchmark the performance and capacity of all 63 provincial and city governments within Vietnam to develop business-friendly regulatory environments for private sector development.

APBO 2011 Asia Pacific Business Outlook
Access 14 Asia/Pacific Markets in 2 days. If you are doing business in the Asia/Pacific region, this is the one conference you can’t afford to miss. Find answers to your questions on 14 economies by choosing from 60 focused sessions and private one-on-one consultations. Get the latest information and connect with expert and insiders.

Tu, Apr 5 How to Meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Requirements The export of food and beverages from Vietnam to the United States continues to grow, and will likely do so for many years to come. However, developing a successful export strategy has become even more challenging for Vietnamese firms over the past several years. Before carelessly shipping off that next container load, you need to be aware of a number of old and new regulations that can cause great harm to your company’s finances and reputation. This seminar is designed to enlighten you on how to avoid the most common mistakes made by food exporters.

Tu, Apr 5 Cloud Computing in Vietnam: Opportunities and Challenges Cloud computing has the potential to generate a series of disruptions that will ripple out from the tech industry and ultimately transform many industries around the world. The cloud’s ability to access, analyze, store and share information could change our business and personal lives in ways hard to imagine. Vietnamese IT services spending is forecast to reach around US$ 348mn in 2011, as the market approaches US$ 551mn by 2015. IT services now accounts for around 18% of total Vietnam IT spending. Growing demand for digital infrastructure projects in segments such as banking, telecoms, energy and government has attracted global IT services providers to invest more in Vietnam.

We, Apr 20 Developing an Anti-Corruption Compliance Program

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

Stay informed about Vietnam-U.S. trade and investment with Weekly Updates (Past Issues).

News and Issues Updates

Nokia plans to open Vietnam factory for low-end handsets Initial investment of 200 million euros ($ 275 million) at the site near Hanoi, with “further sizeable investments” in the future. Nokia aims to have the plant open in 2012. The factory will have between 5,000 and 10,000 employees when its operations are in full swing.

Vietnam Further Tightening Monetary Policy Seen After months of trying to treat worsening macroeconomic ills with little more than rhetoric, the authorities started to take action in February, devaluing the currency, raising two key interest rates and vowing fiscal discipline.

Vietnam central bank to punish lenders that fail to cut credit Banks are required to reduce loans for non-production activities to 22 percent of total credit by June 30 and to 16 percent by the end of this year, the central bank said in a directive on its website. Credit continued to grow quickly in the past few months even though lending rates soared to 20-24 percent, because much of the funds from such loans flowed into property investment.

Vietnam reserves to grow, supporting VND, Viet Capital says PM Nguyen Tan Dung asked state companies last week how they could “hoard U.S. dollars when we are in this difficult situation.” The IMF said in December that Vietnam has a low level of foreign reserves, which Citigroup Inc. estimated at $ 13.6 billion at the end of 2010, down from $ 23.9 billion two years earlier.

Vietnam electric power price to rise 15% An increase was needed “to mobilize investment for new power plants to meet the country’s burgeoning power demands.” Electricity prices in Vietnam are lower than those in other countries in the region, while demand for power is expected to increase by at least 16 percent in 2011.

Vietnam economic policy steps appropriate; growth may slow (ADB) The government announced several steps to tighten monetary and fiscal conditions in a bid to bring down inflation, restore confidence in the currency and narrow trade and fiscal deficits. The package came after a devaluation of the currency on Feb. 11, followed by an increase in two key interest rates.

Can Vietnam breed innovators? Companies complain graduates often need re-training. “There’s a lack of competent engineers who are capable of fixing problems.” Vietnam is following a model of economic growth that emphasizes education, to develop the economy from a low level of productivity and industrialization “to a science-based economy.” But, Vietnamese universities have for decades pushed aside hard skills in favor of memorization and theory.

Vietnam, Laos Split Over Mekong Dam(s) Environmentalists say the Xayaburi dam and 10 more such constructions planned on the Mekong’s mainstream, nine in Laos, are environmental disasters. Mekong experts from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, the four countries that share the waters of the lower Mekong, are meeting in late March to consider the Xayaburi dam plans.

Vietnam tra fish supply set to fall 40 pct this year Tra fish production has discouraged some farmers because it has not always brought in good profits due to fluctuations in prices and rising production costs. And many banks have refused to offer loans to tra fish farmers for the past two years.

New BMI market study: Vietnam Infrastructure Report Q2 2011 Vietnam’s construction sector holds significant promise in 2011 due to the government’s expansionary economic policies. The government remains focused on upgrading Vietnam’s infrastructure and raising electricity production to support the country’s economic growth, but rising inflation within the country is eroding real growth in industry value. BMI is forecasting Vietnam’s construction industry to achieve real growth of 8.5% in 2011, reaching US$ 8.5bn. Growth for the sector will remain strong over the forecast period (2011-2015) as industry value will reach US$ 14.5bn by 2015 on the back of increasing foreign investment.

U.S. Investment and Trade Opportunities in Vietnam’s Southern Key Economic Region A “third wave” of U.S. FDI interest in Vietnam offers business opportunities. A robust and efficient trading and distribution environ

Vietnam and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement) The TPP negotiating partners currently include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States. Malaysia has officially requested to join the TPP negotiations.

Click this link to read News Highlights: Business, Trade, and Investment in Vietnam and Asia.

Last week’s most popular links to events and articles

Mar 11-14 Vietnam International Furniture & Home Accessories Fair
Apr 5 Cloud Computing: Opportunites & Challenges in Vietnam
Mar 2 Challenges in Vietnam’s Multi-cultural FDI Workplaces
Mar 2 OPIC in Vietnam (U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation)
Vietnam takes aim at curbing inflation
Mar 3-4 U.S. – Asia/Pacific Regional Business Summit, Mar 3-4, Singapore
Japanese DJ at 2 Lam Son Bar

Recent Events and Information Resources on AmCham Web Site

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.

Click the following links for recent event information and to download presentations

16 DecInvestment & Trade with Vietnam’s Southern Key Economic Region
14 Dec2010 Annual Report: Slides Notes
23 NovCai Mep Deepwater Ports: Vietnam’s Trans-Shipment Hub for ASEAN
.Presentation: Cai Mep Deepwater Ports
16 NovMembers Lunch: Vietnam’s Consumer Trends 2010
.Presentation: Vietnam’s Consumer Trends 2010
11 NovAAFA Briefing on U.S. Trade Policy: Implications for Vietnam
.Presentations on U.S. Trade Policy: Implications for Vietnam
.Welcome: Sesto Vecchi, Governor & Managing Partner, Russin & Vecchi
22 OctWork Force Development in Vietnam
.Presentation by Roma Arellano, Intel, and Jeff Goss, Arizona State Univ.
14 OctTowers, Watson 2010 Global Survey: Talent Management & Rewards
.Presentation by Yvonne Cox, Managing Director, Southeast Asia

Online Membership Directory Looking for information on AmCham companies? Click here to browse the Online Membership Directory for information about and contact points for nearly 500 AmCham companies, and over 1,000 representatives. Members can contact other members by email via the AmCham web site. Also, links to company web sites for even more information about AmCham companies in Ho Chi Minh City.

Benefits and Services Review AmCham benefits and services and learn how you can benefit from Networking Online, with over 250,000+ visitors and 350,000+ page-views per month to www.amchamvietnam.com.

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