Weekly Update Nov 26: VN Business Forum, Governors’ Ball, Annual General Meeting

Highlights

Sa, Dec 1 AmCham Scholarship Award Ceremony
Mo, Dec 3 Vietnam Business Forum
Fr, Dec 7 Roundtable • Direct Selling in Vietnam
Sa, Dec 8 AmCham Governors’ Ball • Christmas in San Francisco
Tu Dec 11 Annual General Meeting and Members’ Night
Sa, Dec 15 Application Deadline for VN and U.S. Professionals Fellowships
Sa, Feb 9 – Su, Feb 17 TET Lunar New Year Holidays • 9 days • Plan ahead …
Vietnam – U.S. Trade Status and Outlook, 2012 – 2015e
Highlights from the FCPA Resource Guide (Department of Justice • SEC)
CBP Global Entry Trusted Traveler • TSA Pre-Check Security Screening
Rampant corruption in Vietnam: #1 Concern of Vietnamese Citizens
SOEs going unchecked … ; no one is in charge …
Private sector minimum wage adjustment for 2013: Still no decision … ?
U.S. textile and apparel Imports down
New AmCham Companies – 2012

Events, Meetings, Activities, and Special Offers

Overseas Vote Foundation SurveyPlease take a few minutes to take the Overseas Vote Foundation 2012 Post Election Survey for overseas voters! Your feedback helps pinpoint what worked well and what needs improvement in the voting process from overseas. Even if you didn’t vote or couldn’t vote, let OVF know why! Thank you! See this page to start: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2W37JT2. All responses are confidential and anonymous. The Overseas Vote Foundation is a U.S. 501©(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization

Fr, Dec 7 Roundtable • Direct Selling in Vietnam is organized by AmCham Vietnam’s Direct Selling Committee (AVDSC), in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade/Vietnam Competition Administration Department (MoIT / VCAD), and supported by the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), with the objective of calling for the involvement of all concerned parties to make the direct selling business in Vietnam a strong, healthy, valuable, and sustainable industry.

Sa, Dec 8 AmCham Governors’ Ball • Christmas in San Francisco The AmCham Board of Governors cordially invite you to the 17th Annual AmCham Governors’ Ball, to be held on Saturday, December 8, 2012. Tickets are limited, so please make your reservation request early to avoid disappointment. And get ready to enjoy this evening, and do some early Christmas shopping.

Welcome to new AmCham companies 75 new companies have joined AmCham in Jan-Oct. Brief descriptions, activities, representatives’ names, and links to their web sites for additional information.

AmCham Membership Directory 2013 to be printed in January, and delivered after TET. AmCham Members update or provide company profiles to Cindy Tran no later than November 30, 2012. As you plan your marketing activities, be sure to consider this annual publication which is used daily by members and employees at AmCham’s more than 700 member companies, with over 1,400 representatives.

Winter in Paradise at Pandanus Resort VND 2,800,000++ per package including: One night accommodation for two persons in a superior room, dinner for two persons, complimentary 15 minute foot massage, 20% discount for services at Peony Spa, Complimentary Taichi class in the morning, and complimentary walking tour of Mui Ne.

IBM Survey on Social Business & Enterprise Marketing Management Practice Take this survey and receive a Christmas Gift.

Till Dec 31 Turkey On The Run at Renaissance Riverside Hotel Drop us your order for a traditional stuffed turkey and leave the fantastic cooking to us. Please order 24 hours in advance and collect your roast with your choice of 3 condiments, 2 sauces and one bottle of Cono Sur. VND 2,250,000 per turkey set.

Till Dec 20 Escape to The Nam Hai, Hoi An with our Super Special Package starting at VND 4,730,000 per night. One-Bedroom Villa accommodation, Daily breakfast for two persons, Complimentary wired and wi-fi service all throughout the resort, Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages from the mini bar.

Dec 1–31 Legend Hotel Saigon’s Festive Season Buffet Gather together with family and friends at the hotel’s renowned Atrium Café to celebrate the joy of the season with Saigon’s most spectacular buffet added with traditional festive delicacies.

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.

Special Fare For AmCham Members from Korean Air Up to 13% discount for all AmCham members on fares to the United States, Korea, Japan and China. Save your traveling costs and enjoy excellent service with Korean Air.

Mo, Dec 3 Vietnam Business Forum AmCham is working to make the VBF more effective at addressing the advocacy needs of our members. For over a decade, AmCham has been a strong supporter of the Vietnam Business Forum, which was financed and managed by the International Finance Corp., a member of the World Bank Group. In February 2012, the IFC officially transferred the coordination function of the VBF Secretariat to a consortium of 14 foreign and Vietnamese business associations, led by AmCham, EuroCham and VCCI. AmCham is working to make the forum more effective at addressing the advocacy needs of our members.

Tu Dec 11 Annual General Meeting and Members’ Night Annual Report of the Board of Governors and the previous years’ accounts, as well as the election of eight members to the Board of Governors for a two-year term: Jan 2013 – Dec 2014. Networking cocktail reception will follow the meeting. Members and spouses are welcome and encouraged to attend !

Sa, Feb 9 – Su, Feb 17 TET Lunar New Year Holidays • 9 days • Plan ahead … Traditionally there are four main holidays: TET New Year’s Eve (Sa, Feb 9, 2013), and TET New Year’s Day (The First ) (Su, Feb 10, 2013), Second (Mo, Feb 11, 2013), and Third (Tu, Feb 12, 2013) Days of TET Nguyen Dan. However, since two of the official holidays are on the weekend, the holidays are observed on Sat, Feb 9 – Sun, Feb 17 (nine days). The Vietnamese traditionally celebrate Tet for one month: from the fifteenth day of the twelfth lunar month to the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. And even today, business slows two weeks before and up to two weeks after TET. Plan ahead … TET is less than three months away.

Feb 24-28 U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Mission to Yangon and Naypyidaw, Myanmar The delegation will seek meetings with the U.S. Embassy and Myanmar’s key government officials to assess the business climate in Myanmar and discuss the challenges to the full normalization of economic relations. For more information, please contact John Goyer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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

Private Sector Minimum Wage Adjustment for 2013: … 15%? … 25%? Still no decision announced. In an October letter to the Government, VCCI and key export industry associations proposed 15% private sector minimum wage adjustment annually for three years, 2013 – 2015. MOLISA Vice Minister met in HCM City Aug 23 with companies and business associations, employees’ representatives, local authorities, for a full discussion before announcing the decision “in October.” No decision has yet been announced, … with only five weeks before Jan 1, 2013.

The Negative Effects of Minimum Wage Laws “The minimum wage law is most properly described as a law saying employers must discriminate against people who have low skills.” Employers are simply not going to hire workers whose labor produces less value than the cost of hiring them. Seventy years of minimum wage experience in the United States since 1938, and more than 100 economic studies since the 1990s, have confirmed the overwhelming evidence that while minimum wage legislation aims to improve the economic well-being of the working poor, the actual results are loss of employment for the least-skilled and most disadvantaged individuals, including the disabled, youth, and lower-skilled workers. Rather than pursuing policies such as minimum wage increases based on fiat rather than productivity growth, policy makers should focus on policies that generate increased worker productivity, and economic growth with low inflation, to benefit all workers.

Vietnam – U.S. Trade Status and Outlook, 2012 – 2015e Bilateral trade in 2012 may increase by about 12% over 2011, despite the difficult domestic and international economic environment. Growth of Vietnam’s apparel exports to the U.S. is likely to slow because of rising costs in Vietnam, increased competition from other supplier countries, and reduced demand in the United States.

Rampant corruption in Vietnam: most common in traffic, land management, customs, and construction Corruption is the main concern of Vietnamese people, followed by high prices and traffic accidents. Over 82% said corruption was widespread. And more than 75% said corruption was a serious problem for the country. World Bank-Inspector General’s Office Joint Report.

SOEs going unchecked; no one is in charge … No agency or ministry is in charge of managing SOEs. 80% of SOEs had not sent their quarterly and annual financial statements to State agencies, business registration offices, or State capital representatives, according to the MPI.

Taiwanese US$ 160 million investment in Vietnam may go down the drain Just as the plant’s two new production lines with a total capacity of 4 million tonnes a year were set to begin trial runs, the local Ninh Binh government rejected He Duong’s request to begin exploiting the field, because it had designated the field part of a UNESCO world heritage site.

Vietnam’s November Inflation Accelerates to 6-Month High Consumer prices gained 7.08 percent in November from a year earlier, after rising 7 percent in October, the General Statistics Office in Hanoi said today.

Thailand’s PTT eyes mega-refinery in Vietnam The proposed refinery’s capacity of 660,000 barrels per day (bpd) would make it one of the world’s largest when it starts operations in 2019. Vietnam’s sole refinery, the 130,000 bpd Dung Quat refinery, meets one third of Vietnam’s oil products demand. Together, the two refineries would meet all of Vietnam’s needs.

U.S. textile and apparel Imports down However, the US textile and apparel imports from Bangladesh, Honduras and India rose by 14.4 percent year-on-year, 9.98 percent and 3.05 percent, respectively during the month under review.

Highlights from the Long-Awaited FCPA Guidance A collection of the more interesting and helpful tidbits from the guidance.

APEC Business Travel Card – Join the U.S. “Global Entry Trusted Traveler” Program Now Speed up your entry through immigration when traveling in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region.

Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program – TSA Pre-Check Expedited Screening Complete the application on-line, and schedule the required interview at an airport on your next trip to the USA. Also, Global Entry Trusted Travelers may benefit from expedited security screening for domestic travel at a number of U.S. airports.

“Leaving China” global brands and retailers visit Bangladesh “Bangladesh is our first choice…the country has a long history of producing readymade garments,” said Richard Vuylsteke, leader of the delegation. Delegation members purchased ready-made garments worth around US$ 5.8bn annually.

Business Mission to Yangon and Naypyidaw, Myanmar, Feb 24-28, 2013 The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is organizing a business mission, and meetings with the U.S. Embassy and Myanmar’s key government officials to assess the business climate in Myanmar and discuss the challenges to the full normalization of economic relations.

Vietnam and international labour mobility in ASEAN Economic Community 2015 ASEAN nations will pilot a free labour market for skilled workers and professionals in 2015 as part of a plan to integrate the region economically. This will enable workers to move freely in the region. Labour productivity in 2009 in Viet Nam was about 7 of that in Singapore and 20 per cent of that in Malaysia.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): 15th Round of Negotiations Set for Auckland, NZ Dec 3-12 New Zealand will host a stakeholder event at the negotiating venue on Friday, December 7.

Candidates for the Board of Governors – Annual General Meeting 2012 (Dec 11) Eight governors will be elected from the twelve candidates by online secure voting between Nov 14 and Dec 11, 2012.

Vietnam and U.S. Professionals Exchange Program: Economic Empowerment in Public Private Partnerships: Application Deadline – Dec 15, 2012 Intensive short-term fellowships for Vietnamese to visit the USA and broaden their professional expertise. Up to 16 Vietnamese professionals will be awarded Professional Fellowships to help increase integration in global markets; transparency and accountability in business and government; linkages between conditions facilitating entrepreneurship and free markets; good governance standards; public-private partnerships; sustainable and inclusive economic development; and corporate social responsibility

Closing of the 6th Plenum of the Party Central Committee, XI Closing remarks by Party Secretary, Important Decisions Made, Comments by a Number of Politburo Members. The whole Politburo agreed to propose that the Central Committee impose a form of discipline on it, and consider disciplining a Politburo member. The Committee discussed carefully and considered comprehensively all aspects at the current time and then decided to not take any discipline on the Politburo and one of its members. It asked the Politburo to apply active measures to repair shortcomings.

Vietnam’s Economic Outlook (Update), Oct 3, 2012 (ADB) “The historic tendency for stop-start policy should be avoided. The focus needs to remain on structural reforms” said Tomoyuki Kimura, ADB Country Director for Vietnam. “A government commitment to a credible reform roadmap with time-bound actions should revive lending and improve market confidence.”

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, Nov 22 • 2012 Thanksgiving Golf Tournament
Vietnam Business Forum (VBF), Dec 3, 2012
Sa, Dec 8 Governors’ Ball • Christmas in San Francisco
Private Sector Minimum Wage Adjustment for 2013: … 15%? … 25%
TET Lunar Year (Sat-Sun, Feb 9-10), Official Holidays (Mon-Fri, Feb 11-15)
Fr, Dec 7 Roundtable Discussion • Direct Selling Industry in Vietnam
Th, Nov 22 Thanksgiving Day at Legend Hotel
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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