Weekly Update Oct 29: Typhoon Drenches Hanoi, Visa Workshop, Global Antitrust, Members Night

Highlights

Th, Nov 1 U.S. Visas Procedures Workshop
Tropical Storm Son-Tinh Drenches Hanoi
Seeking volunteers to interview AmCham Scholarship Candidates
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
We, Nov 14 U.S. – Myanmar Business Summit, Yangon
Th, Nov 22 AmCham’s Thanksgiving Golf Tournament and Dinner
Sa, Nov 24 Seeking volunteers to interview AmCham Scholarship Candidates
Sa, Dec 8 AmCham 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
New AmCham Companies – 2012
Coca-Cola to invest $ 300 million more in Vietnam
Party Secretary Remarks at Closing of Party Central Committee 6th Plenum
Ca Mau gas, power, fertilizer complex inaugurated
National Assembly may postpone state workers’ minimum wage increase

Events, Meetings, Activities, and Special Offers

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.).

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.

Explore the benefits of becoming a social business Make social business work for you will help: Creating exceptional customer experience; Shaping a smarter workforce; Innovating product and service faster; and closing more deals.

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.

Sa, Nov 10 RMIT Vietnam Postgraduate Open Day 2012 from 8.30 am to 2.00 pm at the New World Hotel, 76 Le Lai, Dist.1, HCMC. Expand your career opportunities by taking your knowledge, skills, leadership and thinking to a new level. Call (+84) 8 3776 1369 for RSVP by Nov 8, 2012.

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.

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 22 AmCham 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 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

Coca-Cola to invest $ 300 million more in Vietnam bringing total investment 2010 – 2015 to about $ 500 million. Coca-Cola in Vietnam employs about 2,000 people, of which 99% are local hires. These direct jobs support an estimated additional 20,000 job opportunities in supporting industries.

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.

Ca Mau gas, power, fertilizer complex inaugurated The 2 billion USD project includes a PM3-CM gas pipeline, the CM1 and CM2 power plants, the Ca Mau fertilizer plant and other facilities.

National Assembly may postpone state workers’ minimum wage increase But MOLISA still proposed following the road map on minimum wage increases in the private sector.

State sector minimum wage increase If the government workers minimum wage is implemented as scheduled on May 1, 2013 the government will need an additional $ 3 billion to pay the 22 million workers, including seven million civil servants and 15 million at SOEs.

Gov’t says can’t afford minimum wage adjustment in 2013 Many agree with the Government’s proposal to postpone the increase, saying that amid current difficulties, a delay in wage increase is necessary, and the minimum wage has been increased for eight times since 2003.

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.”

“Labour Code backs wage increase,” Vice Chairman, National Assembly Social Affairs Committee The minimum wage will be decided by a three party panel comprised of the National Wage Council, the workers’ representatives and employers. The National Wage Council will then act as an advisory council to the government to adjust the minimum wage each year in accordance with inflation. The minimum wage is set based on three core factors: the minimum requirements of the worker and their family members; the socio-economic climate and the current market rates.

Tax management law raises concerns Industry associations of Vietnam, footwear and apparel, cotton, woodworking, handicraft and seafood have all proposed that the Government continue the 275-day grace period for paying import tax on goods imported for inputs to re-exports. Enterprises in the industry generate jobs to five million laborers and contribute 35% to the total export revenue.

Boom time for foreign fast-food Burger King to open 12 stores by the end of the year. KFC has opened nearly 130 stores after 15 years in Vietnam.

Vietnam is an interesting market for Burger King: President, BK Asia Pacific We want to enter Vietnam only if we find the appropriate franchisee partner who Burger King will support to ensure the success of the brand in the market. Vietnam became a priority for us in 2011 when we teamed up with IPP/Blue Kite Vietnam. Obviously, we are delighted to work with them and they have been a great partner.

ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia Meeting in Hanoi The Vietnamese Government has decreed that combating corruption is a key element of its domestic strategy and therefore the fight against corrupt entities must be strengthened.

Latest FATCA Delay Bolsters Case for Repeal Instead of the start of next year, institutions now have until January 2014 to put compliance procedures in place, and until January 2017 to start withholding taxes from customer accounts.

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”
Vietnam 2012 Consumer Trends – Ralf Matthaes.pdf
Wage hikes exceed inflation: TalentNet/Mercer Survey
17th Annual Governors Ball • Christmas in San Francisco, Sa, Dec 8
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).