Weekly Update Oct 22: Palooza Party, ASEAN Food Security and Trade, Visa Workshop

Highlights

Su, Oct 21 Burger King Comes to Ho Chi Minh City
Seeking volunteers to interview AmCham Scholarship Candidates
We, Oct 24 ASEAN Food Security & Agriculture Trade Environment
We, Oct 24 AmCham Palooza Party
Mo or Tu, Oct 29-30 VBF Dialogue with MOLISA on Labour-related Issues
Th, Nov 1 U.S. Visas Procedures Workshop
Tu, Nov 6, U.S. General Elections Day • U.S. Voter Registration Web Sites
Nov 11-17 Infrastructure Trade Mission: HCM City, Hanoi, Jakarta
Mo, Nov 12 Members Lunch: Global Antitrust Enforcement – More Authorities, Increased Coordination, Higher Stakes
Tu, Nov 13 Members Night and Meet the Candidates
Th, Nov 22 AmCham’s Thanksgiving Golf Tournament and Dinner
Sa, Nov 24 Seeking volunteers to interview AmCham Scholarship Candidates
Sa, Dec 8 AmCham’s Governors’ Ball • Christmas in San Francisco
Tu Dec 11 Annual General Meeting and Members’ Night
AmCham’s International Coastal Cleanup in the News
Vietnam’s Economic Development Outlook Update, Oct 3, 2012 (ADB)
Vietnam’s Consumer Trends 2012: “We have yet to hit the bottom.”
U.S. Textile Manufacturing, Vietnam, and the TPP Negotiations

Events, Meetings, Activities, and Special Offers

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.

The kitchen heats up with Chef Marco Torre as the newest culinary addition at Park Hyatt Saigon. From Sanremo, Italy, Chef Marco began his culinary career working in a number of Michelin-star restaurants throughout different regions of Italy, from Garda Lake to Porto Cervo. Starting as a Commis de Cuisine, Chef Marco worked his up way up to Sous Chef de Cuisine, honing his craft and earning his reputation for refined Italian food and professionalism within his cooking domain.

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.

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.

We, Oct 24 AmCham Palooza Party Monthly networking event at the coolest nightspots in Ho Chi Minh City. A platform to develop new friendships, and information exchange. No admission fee for AmCham Members.

We-Th, Oct 30-31, Halloween Tricks “N” Treats at Riverside Café – Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon . Lose yourself in darkness and scare your senses this Halloween at Riverside Café. There surely is no better way to experience your Halloween than tuckling into a menu crafted by our own Executive Ghost Chef. Dine in eerily lit darkness and experience enlivened food which has never tasted so good.

We, Oct 31, Halloween Night at Legend Hotel Saigon Get out your spooky “goth” costume for a fabulous Halloween party at Legend Hotel Saigon’s renowned Atrium Café. It’s Saigon’s most spectacular international buffet added with frightful foods and devilish drinks in a true atmosphere of haunted Halloween.

Th, Nov 1 U.S. Visas Procedures Workshop In response to a number of requests from AmCham companies, AmCham has arranged this workshop to provide updated visitor visa procedures, visa renewal procedures, and procedures for group visits (incentive tours, etc.).

AmCham Scholarship 2012 • Sep – Nov AmCham will grant scholarships to up to 45 top students from universities in HCM City.

Tu, Nov 6, U.S. General Elections Day • U.S. Voter Registration Web Sites More than 6 million Americans live overseas. If the overseas American community were a state, we would be the 18th most-populous state in the union. Our votes count … click the link to register online, get a ballot, and vote.

Mo, Nov 12 Members Lunch: Global Antitrust Enforcement – More Authorities, Increased Coordination, Higher Stakes In what is now a truly global marketplace, the potential liability that may arise from unlawful agreements between competitors as to price, markets, and output, is an issue of growing importance to corporations, their managers, and their lawyers.

Tu, Nov 13 Members Night and Meet the Candidates AmCham invites you to attend a Members Night, with informal and fun networking cocktails and buffet reception. Meet the Candidates for election to the Board of Governors for a two-year term, Jan 2013 – Dec 2014. Spouses and invited guests are very welcome and encouraged to attend with you.

Su-Sa, Nov 11-17 Infrastructure Trade Mission to HCM City, Hanoi, and Jakarta will focus on the following sectors: Energy, Aviation, Environmental Technology, Architecture-Construction-Engineering.

Tu-We, Nov 13-14, U.S.-ASEAN Smart Grid Workshop: Partnering for Regional Power Cooperation for state-of-the-art electricity transmission and distribution projects throughout the region. Highlights regional smart grid projects and initiatives, U.S. smart grid technologies, and the regulatory frameworks, standards, and financing mechanisms available to support them. Participating regional delegates will represent power utilities, national transmission corporations and energy regulators from ASEAN member states.

Th, Nov 15 Developing the World Class Leader within You Enjoy a fun-filled workshop that will make you think WORLD CLASS, feel WORLD CLASS and act WORLD CLASS. A highly interactive workshop developed and delivered by Dr. Naomal Balasuriya in many countries in Asia, now has come to Vietnam with a “100% satisfaction or money back guarantee” by Profiles International Vietnam.

Th, Nov 22 AmCham’s Thanksgiving Golf Tournament and Dinner Join this fun golf outing and the old-fashioned Thanksgiving Dinner, held annually since 2001 to celebrate Thanksgiving. Enjoy 18 holes of golf, dinner with Turkey and all the trimmings, Pumpkin Pie, nice lucky draw prizes, and good entertainment

Sa, Dec 8 AmCham’s 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. Click the link for general information and thanks again to our generous 2011 Sponsors.

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 !

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

U.S. Textile Manufacturing and the TPP Negotiations The TPP could enable Asian apparel producers, principally Vietnam, to export clothing to the United States duty- free. Moreover, if the TPP were to allow Western Hemisphere apparel manufacturers to use yarn and fabric made anywhere in the TPP region and still enjoy preferential access to the U.S. market, an enlarged Vietnamese textile industry could, at some future time, compete with U.S. exporters in Mexico and Central America.

Wage hikes exceed inflation: TalentNet/Mercer Survey The average salary increase this year is over 13%, higher than the inflation forecast at 9.5%. Meanwhile, the “Minimum Wage Adjustment” effective Jan 1, 2013 will be even higher.

Minimum wage adjustment (increase) effective in 2013 spooks many enterprises “The government wants to rescue enterprises, but bankruptcies are inevitable. Not to mention, no policies promulgated can meet all interests. Rather, enterprises should rescue themselves.”

Vietnam’s vocation training quality lowest in region Vocational training does not meet the human resource demand of each industry and locality, and what is needed is a close connection between vocational schools and enterprises.

Japanese investors leave China, bringing opportunities to Vietnam? However, Vietnam remains outside the investment wave because of its unreasonable policies, the lack of trained workforce, the underdeveloped supporting industries, not to mention infrastructure constraints.

Apparel industry requests continuation of 275-day grace period for paying import duties on inputs One draft requires firms to pay tax before customs clearance, or provide a guarantee from a bank before they can secure the 275-day grace period on duty payment. The second draft proposed by the ministry bans the grace period altogether.

With no tax payment grace period on imports for re-export, companies anticipate hard times The Ministry of Finance plans to amend the Article No. 42 of the current law, requesting enterprises to make tax payment before the customs clearance time. The regulation would be applied to the enterprises that do the outsourcing for foreign partners (import materials, make products domestically for export), and the enterprises which import products for re-export later.

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.”

Moody’s downgrades Vietnam’s govt bond rating to B2, outlook stable The restoration of macroeconomic stability has not adequately offset the vulnerabilities posed by weaknesses in the banking system.

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

Burger King comes to Ho Chi Minh City
Th, Nov 1: Morning Briefing. Visa Workshop for AmCham Companies
AmCham Scholarship 2012 – Seeking volunteer interviewers for AmCham Scholarship candidates
Th, Nov 22, 2012 Thanksgiving Golf and Old-Fashioned Dinner
Th, Nov 12 Members’ Night and “Meet the Candidates”

We, Oct 10 Morning Briefing: Vietnam Compensation Trends 2012
We, Oct 24 AmCham Palooza Party
Ex-Im Bank Trade Financing Seminar (Bankers)
Legal & VBF Liaison Committee Meeting
Vietnam’s Consumer Trends 2012
Vietnam’s Economic Outlook (Update), Oct 2012 • ADB
Stalled Vietnam seaport underscores economic woes, mismanagement (SOEs)
Ex-Im Bank Trade Financing Seminar (General)
AmCham Scholarship 2012
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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Keep up-to-date about U.S.-Vietnam trade and investment with Weekly Updates (Past Issues).