Weekly Update Oct 27: New Personal Income Tax System, Global Financial Crisis Impact on Vietnam

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

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 25-26 weekend.

Upcoming Events and Activities (next few weeks)

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

Mo, Oct 27, Monday Night Football with Budweiser at Sheridan’s Irish House Enjoy an American tradition and watch an American Football Game of the Week. Food and beverages specials.

Mo, Oct 27-Sa, Jan 12 Megan Burtt at the Park Lounge Park Hyatt Saigon is delighted to introduce Megan Burtt from Colorado, USA, who will provide live entertainment in the Park Lounge every evening until 12 January 2009 (except Tuesdays).

Th, Nov 6. Members Night Presentation and Discussion: The Global Financial Crisis: What will be the impact on Vietnam? After real estate prices and stocks plunged in the U.S., followed by collapses and rescues of several financial firms, the crisis spread to Europe, including both EU members and Russia, and to Asia, including Japan, Korea, and China. What happened, what will happen next, and what will be the impact on Vietnam and your business?

Fr, Nov 7. Morning Briefing: New Personal Income Tax Effective Jan 1, 2009 Even though the top margin tax rates for tax residents will be reduced from 40 percent to 35 percent, increases in taxable income could lead to a large increase in the cost to employers or considerable decrease in net income of employees. The list of deductible “allowances/fringe benefits” in the current PIT regulations is eliminated, with the exception of housing benefits, which are substantially changed.

Fr, Nov 7 (HCMC) and Mon, Nov 10 (Hanoi) Watson Wyatt 2008 Vietnam Total Rewards Survey SMART HR, in association with Watson Wyatt, is proud to announce the release of the 2008 Vietnam Total Rewards Survey. Reports are available on Oct 20 and seminars will be held to present the survey findings and analyze the market HR practice and trends. The seminars are scheduled in HCMC on Nov 7 and in Hanoi on Nov 10. To purchase the reports, or for information on the seminars, pls click on the link or call: Ms. Hoai Vy at 823 5828, ext 228.

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.

Fr, Nov 28: Deadline to update your listing in the Membership Directory 2008 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 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

Vietnam’s inflation rate in Oct projected to be 26.7% over Oct 2007, Vietnam’s trade deficit widens to $ 16.2 billion in 1st ten months, and Vietnam cuts prime rate to 13% The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) said in an online statement that the year’s first benchmark rate cut was “designed to make more capital available to commercial banks to increase liquidity and cut lending rates.” Ratings agencies downgraded Vietnam’s ratings in May, based on inflation and trade deficit, and negative real interest rates (ie, inflation higher than the nominal interest rate).

“Vietnam encourages the press to take an active part in the fight against corruption … in a comprehensive, thorough and lawful manner.” On October 15, the Hanoi People’s Court sentenced a reporter to two years in prison and another, who had pleaded guilty, to 24-month non-custodial sentence for “abusing democratic freedom rights to infringe upon the interests of the State, the legitimate rights and interests of organisations and individuals.”

Air Traffic Slowdown Worst Since SARS in 2003, Asia-Pacific region hit hardest (IATA) “The deterioration in traffic is alarmingly fast-paced and widespread. We have not seen such a decline in passenger traffic since SARS in 2003.”

Global financial crisis reduces U.S. consumer spending, imports drop twice as much No wonder oil prices are falling so sharply. And no wonder Samsung Electronics Co., the Korean chip and consumer electronics powerhouse, reported a 44% drop in profit Friday. Samsung expects the fourth quarter, usually the best for electronics makers, to be “an even more challenging period,” said Chu Woo-sik, the company’s investor-relations chief.

Oil prices down 55% from high, approach $ 60/barrel Recent events, with oil prices near $ 60/barrel, have raised the specter in OPEC circles of the meltdown of the late 1990s, when disarray within the cartel and falling demand in Asia caused prices to plummet to $ 10 a barrel in early 1999.

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

Information Resources on AmCham Web Site www.amchamvietnam.com

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.

Members Lunch: TNS Managing Director Ralf Matthaes, Consumer Trends in Vietnam
Presentation TNS Managing Director Ralf Matthaes, Consumer Trends in Vietnam

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

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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.