Weekly Update Nov 2: Palooza, Vietnamese Consumers, Real Estate Networking, Thanksgiving

Latest updates on H1N1/A Flu from U.S. Center for Disease Control, U.S. Department of State (Travel), and World Health Organization (WHO)

AmCham Scholarship Program 2009 281student applicants from top universities in HCM City qualified for the next stage of the AmCham Scholarship Progam 2009 – English Language Test sponsored by Bright Language. For over 20 years Bright Language has been helping companies to assess and score the foreign language proficiency of staff members.

Sa, Dec 05 14th Annual Governors Ball Please make your reservation request this week to avoid disappointment.

Update your free company listing in the print version of the Membership Directory 2010 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.

TS Mirinae @ Nov 2, 2009 7am VN Time Projected Oct-Nov are “storm season” months. Fast-moving Tropical Storm MIRINAE appears headed straight for Tuy Hoa. Estimated to land in mid-day on Nov 2. Image to left is estimated position of storm at 7am, Nov 2 Vietnam time. Click this link for estimated position at 7pm Nov 2 VN Time.. Note that storm tracks can and do change frequently. Click on the image or link for an updated forecast.

Events, Meetings, Activities, and Special Offers for Members

Taxes in Vietnam Navigate Vietnam’s tax and accounting regime with reliable and practical resources from CCHthat boast both breadth and depth of information. Besides covering the latest tax and legal developments in Taxes in Vietnam: An Overview and Vietnam Investors’ Guide: Business Law, CCH also provides expert guidance on interpreting IFRS and US GAAP as well as other essential accounting tools that will aid in simplifying your work processes and ensuring timely and accurate decision-making.

Vacancy Announcement: Country Director, Vietnam. Institute of International Education An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, the Institute of International Education, one of the world’s largest and most experienced global higher education and professional exchange organization, is seeking candidates to fill the following vacancy: Country Director, Vietnam.

Tu-Th, Nov 3-5 To celebrate the 100th birthday of Chateau de Beaucastel, Park Hyatt Saigon is delighted to welcome Pierre Perrin, owner of Perrin & Fils, and Chef Laurent Deconinck, chef de cuisine at Chateau de Beaucastel, to a food and wine galore event which will be held at the hotel from Nov 3 – 5, 2009.

Fr, Nov 6 (HCMC) and Mo, Nov 9 (Hanoi) Seminars – Watson Wyatt 2009 Autumn Total Rewards Survey Findings Reports are available on Oct 30 and seminars will present the survey findings; analyze the market HR practice and trends in Vietnam and Asia Pacific; open chance for networking and discussion. The seminars are scheduled in HCMC on Nov 6 and in Hanoi on Nov 10. To purchase the reports, or for information on the seminars, please click on the link or call: Ms. Kieu Dung at 3821 9488, ext 318.

SONIC Joins NIGHTSPOT, Level 23 at the Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers from Nov 9 Daily at the Nightspot, Level 23 (except Mondays) from 7pm till late, starting Nov 9, 2009 for a two month engagement.

We, Nov 11 Young Professionals Palooza Party at NIGHTSPOT, Level 23, Sheraton Saigon Enjoy the SONIC at the monthly Young Professionals Palooza Party, a platform to develop new friendships, networking opportunities and information exchange. People from all age groups are welcome to attend – there’s no age limit, you just have to be young at heart!

Th, Nov 12 Members Lunch: Is the Vietnamese consumer’s glass half-full or half-empty? 2009 has been a year of immense change in Vietnam. Consumers have changed their spending habits, brand affiliations and overall outlook largely due to the global recession, but also due to the impact of 15 years of Vietnam’s economic revitalization. Come join us and gain insight into Vietnam’s consumer habits 2009, learn how you can deal with these changes and find out…

Th-Fr Nov 12-13 Vietnam Youth Marketing: Connecting with the 8X and 9X Generations Internet Savvy. Rebellious. Cool. Open-minded. Meet today’s Vietnamese youths who are growing up with their own set of ideals and beliefs. Understand the psyche of the various youth segments and tap on the right channels to create the spark and connection with this new digital-age generation. 15% discount on Registration Fee for AmCham members.

Tu, Nov 17 Members Lunch: Climate Change and What Intel Has Done and Is Doing About It Climate change, or “global warming,” increasingly is a front-line environmental policy issue worldwide. Progressing rapidly over recent years, momentum has grown to address climate change and related energy security issues in many parts of the world. Intel believes that climate change is a serious economic, social and environmental challenge that warrants a serious societal response and this belief is reflected in our own stewardship actions.

Tu, Nov 17 Real Estate Development in HCM City and Networking Night Update on market developments and a presentation by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, the U.S. firm selected to design the Ho Chi Minh City headquarters of Vietcombank. Founded in 1977 by Cesar Pelli and Fred Clarke, Pelli Clarke Pelli has designed some of the world’s most recognizable buildings, including the World Financial Center in New York, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, and the International Financial Centre in Hong Kong. (date to be confirmed)

Th, Nov 19 Integrating Hotel Technologies : Breaking down the walls and closing the customer loop. Morning seminar organized by ICT Committee. Online Distribution, Revenue Management and CRM are all converging and impact Hotels’ operations and profits. How these different technologies relate to each other, how they fit together, and why it’s so important that they all should integrate with each other. How Hotels can make money or lose money by doing things the right or wrong way.

Th, Nov 26 9th Annual Thanksgiving “Turkey Shoot” Golf Tournament

Th, Nov 26 10th AmCham Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Dinner

Mo, Nov 30 The Vietnam Finance and Capital Markets Conference Co-organized by EuroMoney and the Ministry of Finance, will bring together over 800 senior government officials, foreign portfolio investors, FDI investors, local capital market leaders and senior leaders of state owned enterprises to discuss and examine Vietnam’s investment and growth opportunities.

Update your listing in the print version of the Membership Directory 2010 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.

Sa, Dec 05 14th Annual Governors Ball The AmCham Board of Governors cordially invites Members and their Guests to the 14th Annual AmCham Governors’ Ball, to be held on Saturday, December 5, 2008. Tickets are limited, so please make your reservation request this week to avoid disappointment.

Tu, Dec 08 Annual General Meeting AmCham invites members, associates and their guests to attend the Annual General Meeting and cocktail reception. Spouses and partners are not only invited but encouraged to attend with you.

Sa, Dec 12 AmCham Scholarship 2009 Award Ceremony

Th, Dec 17 Financial Consolidation: Challenges and Solutions for VAS, IFRS, and Various Stock Exchanges For CEOs, CFOs, and key finance staff. Details to be provided

Sa-Su, Jan 22-24 Dalat Winter Weekend and Roundtable Join other AmCham members and guests in a networking weekend, with Chairman’s Roundtable discussion of key issues in Vietnam-U.S. trade and investment and outlook for 2010.

Su-We, Feb 14-17 TET Lunar New Year – Year of the Tiger

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

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

Replacing the U.S. Consumer: Is China Up To The Job? The IMF says, “Asia depends primarily on consumers in the large advanced economies.” Demand from the U.S. has historically accounted for one-third of Asian exporters’ industrial value-added output (a more accurate measure than the gross dollar amount of exports).

U.S. Consumers unlikely to keep pace, with jobs scarce and credit tight With much of consumers’ spending driven by temporary government stimulus programs, and with more people losing their jobs, it is unlikely they can keep driving robust growth. And it’s not clear what will replace them.

CIT, major funder of small/medium businesses, files its bankruptcy plan “It’s not only the manufacturer that would be in trouble if they lose their funding, but the whole supply chain up to the retail level could be in trouble.” This would be a severe disruption for those factories or retailers out there that need capital.”

U.S. consumer spending falls, fueling concerns about recovery The U.S. 3Q GDP increased 3.5% after four quarters of contraction, likely marking an end to the recession that started in Dec 2007. But economists expect growth to slow through this year and into 2010. Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of U.S. economic activity.

Dumping penalties imposed on plastic bags from Vietnam, Indonesia, and Taiwan Commerce has issued an affirmative preliminary determination in its antidumping duty investigations, setting initial dumping margins at 52.30-76.11% for Vietnam; 28.69-95.81% for Taiwan, and 67.18-67.62% for Indonesia.

Globally, the Greenback Remains King As much as 75% of U.S. notes in circulation, or more than $ 600 billion, may be held outside the U.S. Most of that is likely in “the underground economy,” where transactions are made beyond the oversight of government.

Vietnam to borrow $ 5 billion for FX reserves from Japan, World Bank, ADB $ 3 billion from Japan in 2010-2012, plus another $ 2 billion from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and an earlier agreed loan from Japan. Vietnam’s foreign exchange supply has been squeezed by a sharp fall in exports, foreign investment, overseas remittances and dollar hoarding as the VND falls in value.

Vietnam’s finance, banking, and property sectors enjoy stimulating profits The positive earnings were thanks to the sectors’ benefiting from the government’s stimulus package.

Bank loans stimulate Vietnam’s stock market State Bank governor Nguyen Van Giau said the banking system had poured around VND12 trillion ($ 667 million) into stock investments so far this year, up 74.4 per cent against 2008’s figure of VND6.88 trillion.

Inadequate infrastructure blocks growth in Vietnam ”, the country’s infrastructure did not improve. This will continue to hurt Vietnam’s economic growth and investment attraction next year,” said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

CIT, major funder of small/medium businesses, files for 5th largest U.S. bankruptcy One of the nation’s leading funders of small and medium-sized businesses, filed for the fifth largest bankruptcy by assets in U.S. history. CIT’s position in the business world is crucial. It says it is the leading provider of factoring, a key element in the day-to-day financing of the retail industry. Its key role in shipping goods is illustrated by its statement that it is the nation’s third-largest lessor of rail cars and the world’s third-largest lessor of aircraft.

U.S. retailers and suppliers brace for slow recovery Faced with one of the most challenging years on record, retailers and their suppliers are being forced to adjust their business strategies to deal with this drearier operating environment. And with retail inventories down, discounts up, and credit still tight, many believe that consumer spending will lag the turnaround of the US financial markets.

U.S. Trade Representative speech on Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement on Thur, Nov 5 Most mainstream U.S. business and farm groups support the agreement, but it faces strong opposition from labor groups, Ford and Chrysler, and the United Auto Workers, who say the agreement fails to eliminate non-tariff barriers that keep out American cars while eliminating the few remaining tariffs the U. S. still has on South Korean cars. In addition, U.S. lawmakers are concerned about Korean barriers to U.S. beef.

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

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 link to download the HCMC v Hanoi: Understanding Consumer Differences, Oct 09, 2009

Online Membership Directory Looking for information on AmCham companies? Click here to browse the Online Membership Directory for information about and contact points for over 450 AmCham companies, and over 900 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 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 over 1,000 representatives of over 450 AmCham companies, plus 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).