Weekly Update May 14 Furniture Lab, U.Hawaii MBA, Labor Conditions, WTO Committee

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Upcoming Events and Committee Meetings

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Tue, May 15 TUVRheinland LGA Furniture Testing Lab Begins Operations in HCM City*
The furniture testing laboratory is based at the Quang Trung Software City in HCMC and will provide internationally accredited testing services for the Vietnamese furniture, handicrafts and toy industries. The service will enable local industries to access local testing services saving time and money getting test reports, instead of transporting goods for testing outside of Vietnam.

Thu, May 17, Information Session: University Hawaii Executive MBA in HCM City
Learn about the University of Hawaii Shidler College of Business Executive MBA Program in Ho Chi Minh City by attending this free information session.

Mon, May 21. Special Lunch: Vietnam’s Labor Conditions and Labor Relations
Two senior U.S. State Department officials from the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor will visit Vietnam to learn about labor conditions and labor relations. Join the lunch to hear their viewpoints and to help them understand Vitenam’s labor situation better.

Fri-Wed, May 21-22. COLDWELL BANKER® International Realty Master Franchise Meetings
Membership in the Coldwell Banker International Realty franchise system is offered to select real estate companies and successful business entrepreneurs through an exclusive master franchise program. Coldwell Banker has recently started pursuing a very well structured and aggressive expansion plan for the Vietnam market, and Al Mendoza, Vice President for International Development, will visit Vietnam to meet interested companies and entrepreneurs.

Tue, May 22, WTO Committee
Regular monthly meeting. Agenda: prepare for BTA/WTO Implementation Review in Washington DC, discuss work plan, upcoming events.

Tue, Jun 05, Seminar and Lunch: Logistic & Supply Chain Challenges & Opportunities in Vietnam
Whether you want to do-it-yourself or outsource, discover the Logistics and Supply Chain Management technologies, strategies and best practices that can bring benefits to your Vietnam operations. Our speakers and our panel session will address topical challenges and opportunities and provide a range of solutions.

Tue, Jun 19, Monthly Lunch: Intel’s Investment in Vietnam
The future arrived in Vietnam, courtesy of Intel, on March 28, when the company officially started construction of a new assembly/test facility in Ho Chi Minh City’s Saigon Hi-Tech Park. What is now a former rice paddy will be transformed into a 500,000-square-foot plant that is expected to employ more than 4,000 people once it is completed. It will be the largest such facility Intel has every constructed. The new facility marks an inflection point not only for Intel, but for relations between two countries.

Sat, Jun 30, USA Independence Day Celebration and Family Picnic
Join AmCham members, friends and family to enjoy our traditional American holiday and cultural event that is celebrated all across the USA, in big cities and small towns. An old-fashioned picnic, celebration with scrumptuous food, fun and games for children and parents, great door prizes, and great live music by The Curtis King Band. Limited to 600 AmCham Members and their Guests.

Fri, Mojito Friday Night BBQ at New World Hotel Splash Bar, 6-9pm
Enjoy a refreshing Mojito as a welcome drink, then start with a fresh seafood combination platter followed by juicy meat specialties, chef’s catch of the day and a variety of side dishes. Free flow of draft beer, Frontera Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon and soft drinks. Join the monthly rafle with a chance to win a weekend in the George Bush Presidential Suite.

Issues Updates and AmCham – related News

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Dong Nai FDI expected to exceed US$ 10 billion by year-end
Dong Nai’s improved investment environment and highly successful investment promotional activities abroad have acted as a springboard for the province to consistently remain a top 5 investment destination for overseas entrepreneurs.

Workers left out in the cold: inadequate housing for workers at industrial parks
Businesses operating at the industrial parks should be given incentives to build accommodation for their workers

Telecoms upgrade coming: Vietnamese firms join giant trans-Pacific cable project
Scheduled to begin operations in November 2008, the system will provide direct access and diverse routing between South East Asia and the USA and will have geographical advantages over the traditional trans-Pacific routes (via the North Pacific), since it will avoid some of the areas most prone to seismic activity, a serious hazard for undersea cables.

HCM City reeling from air pollution, groping for solutions
With around 2 million motorbikes and 500,000 cars registered in HCMC, not including thousands of others from elsewhere, tackling air pollution will not be easy.

Unilever opens maga warehouse in HCM City for Vietnam and Southeast Asia
The advanced warehousing system, used to distribute consumer goods in bulk while preserving quality standards aims to help the company perform more effectively and efficiently. This investment demonstrates that HCM City is becoming a distribution hub in ASEAN.

Labor ministry proposes another wage increase for New Year 2008
The increase, from VND450,000 (US$ 28) to VND540,000 (US$ 33), is in the domestic sectror, and will not effect the minimum wage in the foreign invested sector. Can they avoid wildcat strikes this time?

Vietnam needs US$ 23 billion to improve urban infrastructure 2007-2010
US$ 9 billion would be needed for clean water supply, water drainage systems, and waste water treatment, US$ 6 billion to upgrade urban transport infrastructure, and US$ 8.4 billion to build low-cost houses. The question of where the money will come from was not answered.

FL-based Jabil Corp to invest US$ 100 million to produce printed circuit boards in SHTP
Following Intel’s lead, The first stage investment of US$ 30 million in Saigon Hi-Tech Park will produce 3.5 million units a year. The second stage will start after 2010, when the investment increases to a total US$ 100 million while output doubles to seven million units a year.

More news you can use

Event Presentations and Downloads
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. Download the AmCham HCMC Board of Governors Report on

Click the above link to download presentations from

  • Apr 06 Presentation by Intel Products Vietnam’s IT Manager
  • Apr 17 Presentation by Chris Harvey, General Director, vietnamworks.com “eMarketing in Vietnam”

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
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Your announcement in AmCham’s Weekly Update email
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Tips and hints from the AmCham webmaster

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Computing Tips: My Virtual Life
… is big business. At least 10 million people pay US$ 15 and up a month to play these games, and maybe 20 million more log in once in a while. Some players call World of Warcraft “the new golf,” as young colleagues and business partners gather online to slay orcs instead of gathering on the green to hack away at little white balls. Says eBay Inc. founder and Chairman: “This generation that grew up on video games is blurring the lines between games and real life.” Can you do this from Vietnam?

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Try it now to see how if your internet connection measures up. And if you don’t have high-speed cable access, get it now. You can’t afford not to.

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