Weekly Update Oct 06: Consumer Trends, Idaho Gov Trade Mission, US-VN Investment Treaty

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

U.S. Consulate General Notice: Possible Melamine Contamination The Chinese government recently announced that the industrial contaminant melamine has been discovered in many brands of infant formula produced in China. Following these reports, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advisory warning to consumers that any formula produced in China may contain melamine and should not be used. The Vietnamese government has confirmed seizures of powdered milk manufactured in China after samples tested positive for melamine.

Sa, Nov 15 Consular Club of Ho Chi Minh City Charity Bazaar The Consular Club of Ho Chi Minh City, a non-profit organization of volunteers representing all Consular missions in HCMC, requests support for its annual Charity Bazaar. Funds raised will support projects to help those disadvantaged in and around HCMC and southern Viet Nam. All money raised goes directly to those in need.

Weather in Vietnam and Western Pacific: satellite photos, typhoon forecasts, etc. We are in the “West Pacific Typhoon Season.” Click the link for an update. No storms approaching Vietnam over the Oct 4-5 weekend.

Upcoming Events and Activities (next few weeks)

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

U.S. Citizens: Register to Vote at the Official U.S. Govt Web Site for Overseas Voters: Online Voter Registration and Ballot Delivery. New system simplifies and accelerates voter registration and request for absentee ballot. As of Tue, Sep 09, there are 56 days (8 weeks) remaining until the U.S. Election Day on Nov 4.

Navigos Group released their annual Vietnam Salary Survey 2008 Report in late September. The survey results were compiled from input by employers between April 2007-March 2008 and measured salaries across various job levels and industries. The salary increment for the period stated above reached 19.5% – the highest in a five-year period.

Fr, Oct 3: United’s New First Suite and Business Cabin Now Available to Ho Chi Minh City New luxurious 180-degree Lie-Flat Beds Re-define Transpacific Flying Experience. The new premium products will be available a number of days on United’s daily nonstop services between Hong Kong and San Francisco and between Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City (SGN), and they will eventually be available to all flights to/from Vietnam on a daily basis.

Tu, Oct 7, 2008 Study USA, organized by Institute of International Education High school and university students, and their parents, meet with U.S. accredited colleges and universities to learn more about opportunities to study in the United States of America.

Sa, Oct 11, Application Deadline for AmCham Scholarship 2008 In partnership with Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City (VNU-HCM), AmCham will grant scholarships to top students of VNU-HCM. Selection process is managed by the HR Committee, helped by the AmCham Scholars Alumni Association. Over 2,000 applications have been downloaded so far.

Mo, Oct 14: “Using Change to Manage Creativity in Global Business” Award-winning Hollywood film composer, Alan Williams’ CreativeChange multi-media workshop leads participants through interactive learning experiences to define creativity and how to use the steps of creativity to manage change in business.

Mo, Oct 13: Canadian Thanksgiving at Caravelle Hotel. On the second Monday in October, as fixed by custom, the Caravelle’s Restaurant Nineteen pays homage to the cuisine and traditions of Canada with a Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet. By tradition, roasted turkey and smoked salmon are the anchoring entrees. Pumpkin cream soup with seared shrimps invites a hearty start. The traditional fixings stand ready at the side, and a chocolate fountain with home-made marshmallows and strawberries are the sweet conclusion. US$ 38.50 ++ per person.

Mo, Oct 13, Columbus Day (U.S. Holiday) is celebrated on the second Monday in October. It recognizes the European discovery of America when Christopher Columbus landed on October 12, 1492. U.S. Government and AmCham offices closed.

Tu-We, Oct 14-15, Climate Change: Innovations in Public/Private Partnerships According to the United Nations, Vietnam is one of five countries projected to suffer most from climate change. Particularly in a troubled economy, climate change may be an opportunity for new technology for investment and business development

We, Oct 15, Members Lunch: Consumer Spending Trends in Vietnam Since 1998, TNS Vietnam has been tracking the lifestyle trends of Vietnam. The 2008 TNS VietCycle – Vietnam’s Lifestyle Monitor – will cover the latest hot topics in Vietnam such as consumer reaction towards inflation and its impact on shopping and spending, and how Vietnam’s recent economic turmoil has influenced consumers’ outlook and behavior.

Th, Oct 16, Members Lunch: Idaho Governor “Butch” Otter and Trade Mission Join other AmCham members and HCM City leaders for networking lunch to meet Gov Otter and the trade mission executives. Idaho is ranked #1 in Economic Vitality (Brookings Institution), #2 in Best Places for Business and Careers (Forbes), #2 in Growth in New Companies (CEO).

Fr, Oct 17, Morning Roundtable: Vietnam-US Bilateral Investment Treaty Murray Hiebert, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Director for ASEAN, will meet with AmCham companies to discuss the Vietnam-U.S. Bilateral Investment Treaty, of special interest to U.S. firms in financial services, distribution, natural resources, visual products, and real estate.

Mo, Oct 20, Monday Night Football at Sheridan’s Irish House Enjoy an American tradition and watch an American Football Game of the Week.

Fr, Oct 24, AmCham Palooza Party Come to meet others in HCM City with free food and drink specials.

We, Nov 19: Members Lunch: VN-US Educational Exchange and Vietnam’s Economic Development Dr. 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 development, including the job market.

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.

All upcoming events …

News and Issues Updates

Despite a growing trade deficit and continued inflation, FDI in Vietnam continues to increase, with announcements of new ventures.

Vietnam’s trade deficit doubles to $ 15.8 billion, inflation 27.9% in Sep The trade deficit in the same period last year was $ 8.5 billion, and it was $ 14.1 billion for all of 2007. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s inflation increased to 27.9% in September over last year.

Vietnam reports over $ 57 billion in FDI Jan-Sep 2008 The industrial and construction sectors have become the most attractive area for foreign investors, attracting $ 32.3 billion or nearly 58 per cent of the total FDI so far this year. Coming a close second was the service sector, which attracted $ 23.7 billion or 42 per cent of the total.

Bosch announces power tool business strategy in Vietnam Bosch will seek 150 distributors throughout Vietnam in order to establish a network of sales agents and customer care centres, along with establishing a training centre to instruct in the use of Bosch products.

FedEx Announces Five-fold Increase in Daily Capacity for Vietnam The new service increases FedEx capacity into and out of the country fivefold, to more than 30,000kg per day. Customers also enjoy an improvement in transit times into and out of Hanoi, of one day, and can take advantage of the best delivery and cut-off times available in the city.

Coldwell Banker Vietnam signs franchise deals The Vietnamese partners, who will now be sub-franchisees, are real estate consulting and construction firms Phuc Thien Long, Dai Viet, Amazing and C.P.K and training and consulting firm Tam Viet.

NASDAQ signs deal to boost Vietnam’s stock market NASDAQ, the world’s largest stock exchange, would leverage technology and market experience to strengthen infrastructure, efficiency and liquidity at the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange and the Vietnamese capital market as a whole, NASDAQ said in a statement.

IBM to build “cloud computing” data center in Vietnam IBM has put considerable financial muscle and resources into building out its own cloud computing facilities. To date, IBM has invested $ 100 million in its cloud research and has dedicated 200 workers to developing new ways to think and create cloud infrastructures.

Best Western International establishes Area Development Office in Vietnam The target is to develop at least five hotels in Vietnam by the end of 2010.

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

Event Presentations, Downloads, and PHOTO ALBUMS

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.

AmCham Labor Day Weekend Palooza Party, 59 photos.

Members Breakfast with Congressional Delegation, 60 photos.

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.

Computing Tips from the AmCham Webmaster

Not receiving AmCham’s weekly update emails? Then, please check your spam of junk mail folder. To insure that you receive all future communication from AmCham, please add our email address to your address-book and to your “safe list” or “white list” (if applicable).

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.