Weekly Update May 05: Members Night, Stock/Share Options Workshop

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

Apr 23 – Jul 10 Graceful singer Kat Parsons at the Park Lounge, Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel Visit from 8pm to enjoy the beautiful voice of American singer Kat Parsons every evening (except Tuesdays) from April 23 – July 10, 2008. Click the link to learn more about Kat.

We, May 14 (Hanoi) and Fr, May 16 (HCM City) Seminars on REACH: Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, which was enacted June 1, 2007 and enters into operation from June 1, 2008. This new regulation (EC1907/2006) that is implemented by the European Union is to better protect human health and the environment from the negative effects of chemical substances. EU importers as well as manufacturers and suppliers will need to comply with it by knowing what chemical substances are in their products and registering these chemical before placing them on the EU market. REACH affects not only chemical manufacturers, but also product manufacturers, distributors, retailer and importers that import, manufacture or place products on the EU market. Click the link for more information and registration.

Th, May 15 Members Night. Introductions and brief from the U.S. Consulate General, updates on key issues. Cocktail reception with networking opportunities with over 150 members. Spouses and guests are we!come and encouraged to attend!

Fr, May 16 (HCM City), Mo, May 19 (Hanoi), Stock/Share Options Workshop: Watson Wyatt & SMART HR Do you have an incentive scheme that is a long term solution? Can it attract, motivate and retain your senior managers? Let’s join the workshop and get valuable information. Click the link for more information and registration.

Tu-Su, Jun 3-8 AmCham Vietnam Mission to Shanghai and Beijing: Save the Dates A survey by AmCham Shanghai and Booz Allen Hamilton found that Fifty-four per cent of respondents thought China’s competitiveness is waning. 63 per cent plan to capture lower labor costs by shifting to Vietnam. We are cooperating with AmCham in Shanghai and Beijing on this mission. Additional information and participation registration form to be provided soon.

Sa, 28 June 2008 Independence Day Family Picnic and BBQ 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.

VCCI – AmCham Business Mentoring Program The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, supported by AmCham, EuroCham, and the 2030 Business Club, is cooperating on a Business Mentoring Program to help young Vietnamese entrepreneurs learn the best experiences from successful entrepreneurs and international managers. Click the link for information and to volunteer to participate.

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 …

AmCham Job Opportunities

AmCham Job Opportunities With increased U.S. companies’ interest in Vietnam, our members and activities are growing. We are expanding our staff, and have a number of new opportunities. Please click the link for more information and an Employment Application.

News and Issues Updates

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

Trade deficit is worrying Figures from the General Statistics Office showed imports exceeding exports by US$ 11.1 billion over the first four months this year. Imports climbed 71 percent to $ 29.36 billion, while exports rose 28 percent to $ 18.26 billion.

Danang faces glut of homes Dam Quang Tuan, chairman of Investment and Construction Joint Stock Company 579 said Danang had potential to become a service and tourist hub of the Southeast Asia. “There is no adequate information to have an accurate assessment of local real estate market. But, I am confident Danang can be developed in the way Singapore has done,” he said.

Rising wealth, luxury imports add to trade deficit Viet Nam’s population can be divided into five groups, and the 20 per cent in the richest group accounts for 43.3 per cent of the country’s consumption, compared with 7.2 per cent of the poorest group. Parkson will open three more luxury shopping centers in Hanoi. And Vietnam’s increasing need for luxury cars has encouraged Rolls Royce to open a representative office in Vietnam.

Government lifts cap on foreign employees Enterprises always prefer local employees due to their deep understanding of the local culture, their relationship to their native country as well as relatively lower cost.

Vietnam to halt U.S. adoption program The director of the Justice Ministry’s Department of International Adoptions said the agreement would expire Sep 1. He dismissed claims in a U.S. Embassy report issued last week, saying that the report “includes a lot of distorted and slanderous information.” He said Vietnam and the U.S. may still cooperate to arrange adoptions in the future through a new agreement or the Hague Adoption Convention, which Vietnam may possibly join.

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) cuts Vietnam outlook to negative “Inflation, current account deficit and loans growth; all these suggest that the economy has become somewhat destabilized. Clearly the economy is suffering from overheating and it has to slow.”

Standard & Poor’s Vietnam Outlook Revised to Negative from Stable Monetary policy response thus far has not been effective in addressing economic overheating. Domestic credit has expanded rapidly and S&P forecasts it to rise to 95% of GDP by the end of 2008, from just 71% of GDP in 2006. Given the unproven risk management capability of domestic banks, an unexpectedly severe slowdown in economic growth could see sharply higher loan losses at many of these institutions. This could potentially develop into a situation of widespread economic and financial distress.

U.S. alleges baby-selling, corruption in adoptions from Vietnam A U.S. Embassy report describes brokers scouring villages for babies, hospitals selling infants whose mothers cannot pay their bills, and a grandmother giving away her grandchild, without telling the child’s mother. The head of Vietnam’s Department of International Adoptions categorically denies the charges. The U.S. Embassy now urges Americans not to initiate any adoptions from Vietnam until new measures to prevent fraud have been implemented. The U.S. – Vietnam Adoption Agreement expires Sep 1, 2008, and may not be renewed.

Feeling good: Halfway from rags to riches, Special Report by The Economist, Apr 25, 2008 In a glowing Special Report, The Economist praises Vietnam’s market-oriented economic and social development, while highlighting challenges ahead. Ten separate online articles, an interview with the author Southeast Asia Correspondent for The Economist, and links to a down loadable pdf file of the complete Special Report. Highly recommended reading.

Bribery Abroad: Lessons from the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Those involved in cross-border business, from directors in the U.S. to factory managers in Vietnam, now live and work by codes of conduct shaped by the FCPA. Avoiding the pitfalls of overseas bribery, and knowing how to respond if corrupt payments somehow happen, are required tools for international executives and managers, professionals and entrepreneurs.

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.