Weekly Update May 28: Foreign Tax Account Compliance Act, Palooza, E-Customs, Trade Credit Insurance

Highlights

Mo, May 28 Business Lunch: Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act and “U.S. Persons”
Some Concerns about FATCA • Letter to U.S. Dept of Treasury
Tu, May 29 Mid-Term Vietnam Business Forum (Hanoi)
We, May 30 AmCham Palooza Party
Th, May 31 E-Customs Briefing. Registration closed.
Fr, Jun 01 Morning Briefing: Trade Credit Insurance
We, Jun 06 Business Lunch: Vietnam Provincial Competitiveness Index
WB calls for prudence in economy driving, reform of SOEs
Vietnam Outlook: World Bank East Asia & Pacific Update, May 2012
Vietnam Economic Indicators: World Bank East Asia & Pacific Update, May 2012
Sep – Dec AmCham Scholarship 2012
Tu, Nov 6, U.S. General Elections Day • U.S. Voter Registration Web Sites

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Events, Meetings, Activities, and Special Offers

Welcome to new AmCham companies 29 new companies have joined AmCham in Jan-May. Brief descriptions, activities, representatives’ names, and links to their web sites for additional information.

Mo, May 28 Business Lunch: Session on the New FATCA Rules An overview of FATCA, its timelines and the basics rules. The impact on businesses and individuals, both regulatory and commercial, and an example approach to a successful FATCA project.

Tu, May 29 Mid-Term Vietnam Business Forum (Hanoi) After over a decade of facilitating the VBF, International Finance Corporation (“IFC”) has transferred the VBF Secretariat role to a consortium of fourteen business associations and chambers of commerce. And now the well-established dialogue is being driven by the business community itself to further promote the discussions and ensure its long-term sustainability.

Regus will help you work your way Regus provides modern, flexible workspace that frees businesses of all sizes, all over the world, to work more effectively. Companies can take a fully-equipped office, desks to use part time, rent a professional meeting room. However they use Regus, they get all the support a business needs.

We, May 30 AmCham Palooza Party The regular AmCham Palooza Party is a platform to develop new friendships, networking opportunities and information exchange. Come and join us for a night of casual networking, meet other professionals, bring your business cards!

News from PwC: Highlights of “Banking Vietnam 2012” and “Merger & Acquisition in Vietnam 2012” M&A will continue at high levels in 2012 with inbound acquisitions remaining significant, driven by high levels of interest among Asian investors, especially from Japan and Korea, looking to tap Vietnam’s growing economy, large population, and its strong resource base.

Th, May 31 E-Customs Briefing. Register by May 24 Real E-Customs DOES exist in Vietnam. Learn more at this briefing facilitated by: Intel Products Vietnam, AmCham Manufacturing Committee, and Economic Office of US Consul General

Fr, Jun 01 Morning Briefing: Trade Credit Insurance, is an insurance product that protects against the risk of non-payment of a trade Account Receivable. Trade Credit Insurance policies indemnify the policyholder for the amount of the gross invoice value for goods or services that are unpaid due to commercial or political risks.

Su, Jun 03 Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee • 60 Years • 1952 – 2012 Help BBGV celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, a momentous anniversary for the people of Britain, the Commonwealth and many other nations. There will be fun for every member of the family at this typically British event.

We, Jun 06 Business Lunch: Vietnam Provincial Competitiveness Index What is the profile of existing FDI in Vietnam? and what are the FDI drivers? Key policy and regulatory issues facing investors and government. How does FDI contribute to economic and social development in Vietnam? Key issues relating to trade and FDI, such as customs and bribery.

Th, Jun 7 Vietnam Labour Law 2012: Practical Issues and Problem Solving for Enterprises The year 2012 will see remarkable changes in Vietnam’s Labor Code. The draft will be reviewed by the National Assembly for final approval at its current session. There are many things that enterprises in Vietnam will need to prepare once the Code finally becomes effective.

Advance Notice: Sep – Nov AmCham Scholarship 2012 AmCham will grant scholarships to up to 45 top students from universities in HCM City.

Tu, Nov 6, U.S. General Elections Day • U.S. Voter Registration Web Sites More than 6 million Americans live overseas. If the overseas American community were a state, we would be the 18th most-populous state in the union. Our votes count … click the link to register online, get a ballot, and vote.

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

The unlearned lesson: Vinashin, VinaLines, and other SOEs’ inefficiencies Economic expert Pham Chi Lan is quoted by Tuoi Tre newspaper as saying that ministries seem not to have learned the lesson of the Vinashin scandal.

WB calls for prudence in economy driving, reform of SOEs In the East Asia and Pacific Economic Update report released on Wednesday, WB said the near-term policy challenge for Vietnam is to maintain macro-economic stability and restore confidence among investors, while addressing longer-term structural reforms, including SOE reform.

Private sector touted as main economic driver, State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are inefficient The return-on-asset ratio of the State-run groups and corporations is much lower than the foreign-invested sector. The average ratio of pre-tax profit to equity only reaches 13.1%, much lower than the lending rates of commercial banks.

OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) The first international benchmark to help governments in improving the corporate governance of SOEs. They are based on and fully compatible with the Principles, but are explicitly oriented to issues that are specific to the corporate governance of SOEs.

Foreign investors long for supporting industries, domestic suppliers Since its factory in the Dong Nai-based Bien Hoa 2 Industrial Park started operation 16 years ago, Fujitsu has been looking for local material suppliers that can satisfy its requirements. “So far, no local supplier has met our requirements, meaning Vietnam’s supporting industries for electronics manufacturing are still underdeveloped. Can anyone here tell me why supporting industries are underdeveloped in Vietnam?”

First wind turbines ready for generation in Bac Lieu, Vietnam’s Mekong Delta The wind power towers and turbines, each weighing 210 tons with a height of 90 meters, have been erected by the U.S. firm General Electric (GE) with an output of 1.6 megawatts each. This is the first wind power project to be implemented along the nation’s coastline. Thanks to the US$ 200-million loan funded by the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank), Cong Ly is deploying the project along a 62-kilometer stretch of the coastline of Bac Lieu Province with a combined output capacity of 300 megawatts.

M&A activities keep rising – $ 4.7 billion in 2011, of which $ 2.6 billion involve foreign investors The 2012 M&A Vietnam Forum is slated for June 7 at the Riverside Palace Convention Center in HCMC. It will focus on four major M&A trends in the country, including bank restructuring, acquisition and anti-acquisition, growing Japanese investment in Vietnam via M&A and reform of State-owned enterprises.

Some Concerns about FATCA: Letter from American Citizens Abroad and Others to Treasury Dept about the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Apr 14, 2012. Excerpt: “The FATCA Chapter 4 Withholding Tax rules, even though not yet implemented, are causing a loss of banking services to “U.S. persons” abroad.

Party aims arrow at heart of corruption Land, natural minerals, public investment, capital construction, and management of state-owned enterprises’ capital and assets were especially vulnerable to fraud.

Vietnam’s economic indicators – April 26, 2012 Currency/Interest Rates, GDP y/y, Consumer Price Index, Trade Account, Index of Industrial Production, Forecasts (Govt, World Bank, ADB, IMF): GDP, CPI, Money and Credit, Exports/Imports/Trade Balance/Current Account Balance, Overseas Remittances, Foreign Currency Reserves (wks of imports, $ billion), Foreign Debt, Foreign Debt/GDP, FDI Inflows, Foreign Portfolio Investments, Population, Long Term Currency Ratings (S&P, Fitch, Moody’s)

ADB: Asian Development Outlook 2012 – Vietnam Outlook Safeguarding the banking sector should be the immediate priority. The longer-term requirement is to develop a diversified and efficient financial system that can mobilize the funding to meet the 7-8 percent economic growth target. These complex reforms, which will take years to complete, would benefit from coordination with the proposed restructuring of SOEs.

China + One = Vietnam and ASEAN ASEAN has the third-largest economy in Asia, after Japan and China. U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) into ASEAN totaled $130 billion in 2007, the largest destination for U.S. FDI in Asia, and has grown 55% since 2004. As a developing region, ASEAN per capita income is low but its GDP is rapidly growing: an almost 170% increase over the past decade.

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

Last week’s most popular links to events and articles

Th, May 24 Members Night and Meet the U.S. Consulate General
Mo, May 28 Business Lunch: Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act and Your Taxes
We, May 30 AmCham Palooza Party
Metro Line No. 1 project to get going September 2012 (Blue Line)
Fr, May 25 Business Lunch: Future of Medical and Cancer Care
ADB to lend another US$ 500 million to city’s second metro line (Red Line)
Tu, May 29 Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) Mid-Term Meeting
Th, May 31 E-Customs Briefing/Q&A Session (Members Only)
Welcome to new AmCham companies • Jan ~ May 2012
Family Summer Holidays Package at Six Senses – Nha Trang
Other popular information downloads

Recent Events and Information Resources

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.

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.

Your announcement in AmCham’s Weekly Update email Early each week, AmCham’s Weekly Update email goes out to about 1,000 representatives of nearly 500 AmCham companies, plus about 3,000 subscribers in Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, and the USA. We welcome event announcements that are of interest to our business readers.

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