Weekly Update Oct 05: Maximize your Brand Strategy, Deepwater Ports in Southern Key Economic Region

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

China – H1N1/A Quarantine Measures. The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the quarantine measures imposed by the Government of China that may affect travel to China.

Deadline Extended: Oct 15 is the extended and final deadline for U.S. taxpayers to file Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report U.S. Taxpayers who reported and paid tax on all their 2008 taxable income but only recently learned of their FBAR (Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report) filing obligation and have insufficient time to gather the necessary information to complete the FBAR, should file the delinquent FBAR report according to the instructions and attach a statement explaining why the report is filed late.

AmCham Scholarship Program 2009 In partnership with Vietnam National University, – Ho Chi Minh City, and the Foreign Trade University in HCM City, AmCham will grant scholarships to top students after a three-step selection process. In addition to the scholarship, the process introduces students to AmCham member firms and prepares them for the world of work after university.

Typhoon PARMA, Sun, Oct 04, 2009 at 7am VN Time At left is the past and forecast track of Tropical Storm PARMA as of Sun, Oct 04, 2009, 7am VN time. Note that the track of the storm is very uncertain, and that storm tracks can and do change frequently. Click on the image for more detail and an updated forecast. It was a Category 4 typhoon in the Philippine Sea (red-colored track).

Events, Meetings, Activities, and Special Offers for Members

Th, Oct 8 2nd Meeting of Project 30 Telecoms and IP Working Group This working session will provide a unique opportunity to review select Administrative Procedures in the fields of telecommunications and intellectual property, that have been identified as overly burdensome, illegal, or unnecessary, and to voice opinions on appropriate reform, and will continue our vibrant discussion of the Form 3s for the two Administrative Procedures presented at the first meeting. Click the link for details and to register.

Fr, Oct 09 Members Lunch: How to Maximize Your Brand Strategy Join our Monthly luncheon where Nielsen Vietnam will analyze and compare HCMC and Hanoi consumers and deliver valuable insights on how to impact comsumers’ purchasing behavior, and how to implement effective marketing strategies that will deliver increased sales and improve profitability across both major cities.

“Navigos Group’s Vietnam Salary Survey 2009” – Report is available NOW for sale if you need timely information concerning key trends in hiring practices, salary expectations, bonuses, turnover rates and other HR related issues. The most up-to-date information available in the market. Updated annually since 2005, it gives a unique, thorough analysis of salaries across a variety of industries, company sizes and locations.

Tu, Oct 27 New Deepwater Ports in the Southern Key Economic Region (date to be confirmed)

Authentic Thai Promotion at Park Hyatt Saigon Make a wonderful start to your day with a special spa package carefully designed by our Master Therapist which includes an exotic Thai massage of your choice, followed by a traditional Thai set lunch or dinner prepared by guest chef Achara from the Erawan Tea Room restaurant at Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok.

Th, Nov 12 Members Lunch: Is the Vietnamese consumer’s glass half-full or half-empty?

Park Hyatt Launches Square One Terrace Located on the mezzanine floor overlooking the elegant Opera House, Square One Terrace offers an outdoor venue for special events or celebrations that can accommodate up to 100 persons. To celebrate the launch of Square One Terrace, Park Hyatt Saigon offers a variety of “Grazing” menus such as Caviar and Foie Gras; Southern Vietnamese; Skewers and Ocean Feast, with Beverage Packages.

Th-Sa, Nov 12-14 The APEC CEO Summit in Singapore

2009 Average Salary Increase is 12% reported by Total Remuneration Survey Report by Mercer and TalentNet Corporation With 209 participants from either foreign or joint venture companies providing more than 49,600 incumbent data of salary, allowances, bonuses, benefits, …, this survey is seen as the most comprehensive and reliable survey in Vietnam market.

Garuda Indonesia Launches “Free & Easy” Promotion Flights to Bali, Singapore, Jakarta Special promotions also on flights to Sydney and Melbourne. Garuda to launch new services in Vietnam with Boeing 737-800NG (Next Generation). Currently, 2 new Boeing B-737-800NG are received, they are the first two of 50 Boeing B-737-800NG that Garuda has ordered.

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 26 9th Annual Thanksgiving “Turkey Shoot” Golf Tournament

Th, Nov 26 10th AmCham Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Dinner

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 early 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

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.

Headlines

Minimum wage adjustment will reduce business expansion by foreign firms The Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (Molisa), presented a draft to representatives of foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) in mid-September. One FIE representative warned that, “Vietnam’s one advantage is cheaper labour. We are now very concerned that the planned increase of minimum salary for FIE workers will lift our labour cost by 20-30 per cent. This will also affect our plan to expand the business in Vietnam.”

Cup half full or empty? More stimulus in Vietnam needed or not The current $ 1 billion short-term interest rate subsidy package was introduced in February. Under the terms of the package, the government will subsidize lending interest rates at 4 per cent for eight months when enterprises borrow capital from local banks for production and business activities. Government economists and policy-makers claimed the 4.5 per cent economic growth rate in this year’s second quarter from 3.1 per cent in the previous period was a direct result of the measure. However, others introducing a second subsidy package would be a hasty decision. “Before thinking of another interest rate subsidy package, we should review how effectively the first one is working and whether it is really essential to continue pumping money into circulation through interest rate subsidy.”

Anti-corruption headway rests on effective enforcement We have said again and again at anticorruption dialogues: to include the mass media is extremely important. If you have an open society where the mass media can and act as whistleblowers to find corruption, I think that should not be underestimated. The mass media can play a very important role in this context. We have tried to highlight that very much during the anticorruption dialogues which we have twice a year with the Vietnamese government.

Private sector to drive U.S.-Vietnam higher education ties The 35-page report of the U.S.-Vietnam Education Task Force, which will soon be submitted to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, identifies three main areas for higher education cooperation between the two countries: encouraging more joint programs between American and Vietnamese universities; increasing the number of Vietnamese studying at US universities and colleges, especially in doctoral programs; and promoting educational programs designed to help Vietnamese students acquire skills needed in the global labor market.

Scarce dollar strains Vietnam currency market Imports fell, the decline in exports and capital inflows was even greater. Foreign investments and overseas remittances have helped keep Vietnam’s balance of payment in check. But this year those sources declined to the global crisis and the collapse of the stock market. Foreign direct investment inflows into Vietnam dropped 11 percent to US$ 7.2 billion in the first nine months of this year from a year ago. Meanwhile, overseas remittances are forecast to fall to $ 6.8 billion this year, compared to $ 8 billion in 2008.
Return of inflation in Vietnam unlikely this year The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has warned against the reccurrence of inflation, which could be aggravated by higher commodity prices and the rapid growth of money supply as the global economy recovers. Inflation is now forecast at 6.8 percent this year, 8.5 percent next year, revised up from 5 percent, according to the ADB’s Asian Development Outlook 2009 Update.

Investors lose interest in Cambodia, Vietnam (Wall Street Journal) For those still in the game, the fundraising drought presents an opportunity. With fewer competitors sniffing around for investments, terms are better for buyers. Managers say being smaller has its benefits, since most opportunities are in startups anyway. The majority of businesses in Vietnam are less than 8 years old.

Vietnam jails six for adoption fraud 18 months after U.S. report

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 Labor Law Aspects of Economic Crisis, Sep 29, 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).