Weekly Update Nov 10: Members Lunch, Membership Directory, Governors Ball, Annual General Meeting

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

08110901Z Mayak.gif Wet Week Ahead? Tropical Storm Maysak is churning around in the Eastern Sea, and may approach the southern half of Vietnam in the coming days. Click the link for more information.

Upcoming Events and Activities

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

Every night except Tue until Jan 12 Megan Burtt at the Park Lounge . Park Hyatt Saigon is delighted to introduce Megan Burtt from Colorado, USA, who will provide live entertainment in the Park Lounge every evening until 12 January 2009 (except Tuesdays).

Tu, Nov 11: Veterans Day (U.S. Holiday) Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11. U.S. Government offices closed. Click the link to learn more about this holiday.

Sa, Nov 15 Consular Club of Ho Chi Minh City Charity Bazaar. A non-profit organization of volunteers representing all Consular missions in HCMC. All funds raised will support projects to help those disadvantaged in and around HCMC.

Su, Nov 16: Kids First Evening of Music and Art will start at 6:00 PM at the HCMC Music Conservatory, 112 Nguyen Du Street with a Piano Concert featuring Korean Pianist Joo Eun Young accompanied by Joo Hye Young, Cellist, and Art Exhibition by Dutch Artist, Wessel Huisman. Tickets 350,000 VND. For more info click the link or contact [email protected]

Mo, Nov 17, Monday Night Football with Budweiser at Sheridan’s Irish House Enjoy an American tradition and watch an American Football Game of the Week.

We, Nov 19: Members Lunch: VN-US Educational Exchange and Vietnam’s Workforce Development Mark A. Ashwill, country director of the Institute of International Education-Vietnam, will discuss recent trends as Vietnam ascends to the top 10 countries sending students to the U.S., and what this means for Vietnam’s workforce development, including the job market.

Th, Nov 20: AmCham Palooza Party. AmCham Palooza is a new group that will hold networking events and happy hours every month in order to increase communication amongst membership and expats.

We, Nov 26: Members Night and Meet the Candidates Come meet the Candidates for the 2009-2010 Board of Governors and mingle with AMCHAM members for a networking cocktail.

Th, Nov 27: Members Morning Briefing: New Personal Income Tax – Are You Ready? Even though the top margin tax rates for tax residents will be reduced from 40 percent to 35 percent, elimination of deductions and increases in taxable income could lead to a large increase in the cost to employers or considerable decrease in net income of employees. Join other AmCham members for a briefing on the impact of the new PIT system on both employers and employees.

Th, Nov 27: Thanksgiving Dinner at the New World Hotel Saigon Thanksgiving Day – a traditional American holiday that brings friends and family together. Celebrate Thanksgiving at the New World Hotel’s Parkview and enjoyu a special buffet dinner, with a traditional roasted turkey and Beaujolais Nouveau, 6pm-10pm.

Membership Directory 2009 – deadline: Fr, Nov 28 If you have new or changed contact information, please contact Ms. Huong at the AmCham office (3824 3562). And, as you plan your advertising, be sure to include the AmCham Membership Directory. Deadline is Nov 28.

Consulting Projects for AmCham companies, prepared by U Hawaii Shidler College of Business EMBA Students. The University of Hawaii’s Shidler College of Business offers an executive MBA in Mo Chi Minh City every other year. The final al project involves the students group doing a “pro bono” consulting project. These teams consist of five or six highly competent students. If you would be interested in the services of a team, please click this link to send an email to Prof. John Butler.

Sa, Dec 6: AmCham Governors Ball 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. Tickets are limited.

We, Dec 10: AmCham Annual General Meeting and Members Night Join other AmCham members and guests to review the year’s activities, Report of the Board of Governors, etc., and election of members to the Board of Governors, then enjoy a Members Night Networking Cocktail Party. Spouses are welcome and encouraged to attend !

Fr, Dec 19-Su, Jan 11 Caravelle Festive Season Package To celebrate Vietnam’s most festive holidays, the Caravelle Hotel offers a specially priced Festive Season Package that’ll help revellers get the most out of their holidays. Only US$ 499 for a deluxe single or double for a two-night stay. Better yet, the Festive Season Package includes a food & beverage credit of US$ 120, as well as complimentary buffet breakfast for two. Before, during and beyond Tet, the Caravelle will make its Festive Season Package available again to holiday travellers. And for guests that plan to stay beyond two nights, best available rates will prevail.

All upcoming events …

News and Issues Updates

Prime Minister requests harmonious labor relations, stable investment environment, social order Action Plan for the implementation of Directive No. 22-CT/TW dated 05 June 2008 of the Secretariat of the Central Committee on enhancing leadership, providing direction for the development of harmonious, stable and progressive labor relations within enterprises.

VND at 17,000 as offshore 12-month forward contracts at 20,000 VND/$ “This adjustment is aimed at promoting exports and controlling the trade deficit,” the Lao Dong newspaper said, quoting Nguyen Phuoc Thanh, CEO of Vietcombank, the country’s top bank for foreign trade. Offshore non-deliverable forwards expected the dong to fall nearly 20 percent against the dollar from Friday’s mid-point in the coming year, with 12-month contracts at 19,500/20,500.

Flood-hit Vietnam on storm alert, coffee at risk Rain during the coffee harvest could halt the process, expected to peak late next week, and may also prevent farmers from drying beans outdoors, thus delaying delivery to port.

U.S. October auto sales slump, GM sales down 45% Falling consumer confidence and the worsening credit crunch kept buyers away from showrooms in the “worst October.” “There is considerable pent-up demand from the last three years, but until the credit markets open up and consumer confidence improves, the entire U.S. economy – and any industry like autos that relies on financing – will suffer.”

U.S. retail sales worst in 30 years as consumers cut spending sharply Shoppers have cut purchases of discretionary items like clothes or computers and in some cases are carefully planning when they buy the most basic necessities. The crisis reduced spending even among the wealthy. Same-store sales fell 16.6% at upscale department store chain Saks Inc, 15.7% at Nordstrom, and 20% at Abercrombie & Fitch.

U.S. unemployment rate reaches 14-year high The U.S. unemployment rate soared to a 14-year high in October, supporting economists’ warnings that the current downturn will rival the worst recessions since the end of World War II. The economy contracted in the third quarter and is expected to shrink at an annual rate of up to 4% in the fourth. Businesses are cutting back sharply and household spending drops as their homes and savings lose value. In the 1981-82 recession, the worst since World War II, the unemployment rate peaked at 10.8%. It rose as high as 7.8% after the 1990-91 recession and topped out at 6.3% in the aftermath of the 2001 downturn.

PCI admits to tax evasion for corrupt payments in Vietnam “Pacific Consultants International received orders in 2001 and 2003 from a Ho Chi Minh City office, known as PMU (the project management unit), for a highway construction project in the city and promised a PMU executive bribes totaling 2.6 million dollars. Based on the promise, PCI offered two bribes, 600,000 dollars in December 2003 and 540,000 dollars in September 2004, according to the prosecutors.”

Japan’s International Cooperation Bureau representatives visit Vietnam regarding alledged corruption Both Vietnamese and Japanese Governments viewed the PCI case as very serious. Japanese relevant organizations accused PCI and its four former leaders in connection with Japanese ODA projects in Vietnam.

Vietnam needs US$ 48 billion to develop highways The World Bank (WB) Acting Country Director in Vietnam Martin Rama pledged to increase levels of assistance to Vietnam in developing its transport infrastructure and to mobilise all available investment resources and sharing experiences related to forming sustainable management and financial mechanisms.

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

Information Resources on AmCham Web Site www.amchamvietnam.com

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.

Vietnam’s New Personal Income Tax: Are You Ready?
Presentation: Vietnam’s New Personal Income Tax – (c) KPMG (used w/ permission)

Members Lunch: TNS Managing Director Ralf Matthaes, Consumer Trends in Vietnam
Presentation TNS Managing Director Ralf Matthaes, Consumer Trends 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 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.

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Computing Tips: Business Tips for Late Facebook Arrivals Choose your friends and photos carefully on social-networking sites, but by all means get on Facebook. Here are some basic lessons learned. 18 Aug 2009

Computing Tips: Facebook No. 1 Globally with 132 million users The site is the top global social network, nearly 63% of users are outside North America. The site had been translated into 20 languages including French, Spanish, and Mandarin, recently added 69 more. “Now, through translations, we are seeing a lot of growth in international countries,” says Javier Olivan, international manager at Facebook in a recent interview. 18 Aug 2008

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