Weekly Update Sep 07: Income Taxes, Binh Duong, Vietcombank Tower/Pelli Clarke Pelli, Coca-Cola

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 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. Click the link to read more.

Special Notice: Sep 23 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. Click the link for details.

Events, Meetings, and Activities

Mo, Sep 7 U.S. Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. U.S. Government offices closed. Click the link to learn more about this holiday. Click here for a list of Vietnamese and U.S. holidays.

We, Sep 9 8:30am Project 30 Tax Working Group meeting in Hanoi. Discussion about the working group organization and plan to fill in review form on tax administrative procedures that need to be simplified and improved.

We, Sep 9 2:00pm VBF Meeting to Discuss Tax Issues in Hanoi with the Ministry of Finance General Department of Taxation and Ministry of Planning & Investment Foreign Investment Agency.

Sep 3 – Dec 15 United Mileage Plus: Earn Double Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) or Double Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS) !!! Here’s a special opportunity to help members retain elite status or earn a higher level. Now through Dec 15, 2009, and only on www.united.com/doubleeqms , members may register to earn double EQM or EQS for paid travel on United and United Express. Registration and Travel Period: Sep 3 – Dec 15, 2009. Click the link for more details.

Tu-Su, Sep 8-13 “Chef of the Year” Antoine Rodriguez hits Sheraton Saigon Signature Restaurant, Level 23 You will not want to miss this special appearance by Chef Antoine Rodriguez. Known for his interesting presentation and trademark “red meat” courses, you’ll see for yourself why he was recently crowned “Chef of the year.”

We, Sep 16 Roundtable Discussion: Succession Planning Join colleagues in a highly interactive roundtable discussion to hear top national & multinational companies in HCMC share their experiences in succession planning. For senior managers and senior HR practitioners only.

Mo-Tu, Sep 21-22 Seminars at the International Real Estate Exhibition in HCMC at the Sheraton Hotel (Sep 21) and the Phu Tho Stadium, District 11, HCMC. Click the link for more information and registration.

Tu, Sep 22 Seminar: Competency-based Human Capital Management Competency frameworks provide organizations with consistent, business-driven bases on which to focus the area of Human Capital management and development. Using conceptual models and case studies, this Seminar introduces participants to the concept of competency-based human capital management and how the concept is applied in various aspects of the HR function. Click the link for details and to register.

Tu, Sep 22 Morning Seminar: Vietnam and U.S. Personal Income Taxes – Update One of the best-spent 90 minutes a member could have in a week. Key issues for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders) living in Vietnam. Focus on the US tax rules, with special additional info regarding Vietnam tax rules effective July 1, 2009 and how they interface. Also, an update on the Sep 23 deadline for U.S. taxpayers to submit their Foreign Bank Account Report.

Tu, Sep 22 Trade & Investment Conference and Networking in Binh Duong The U.S. Consulate General and the People’s Committee of Binh Duong Province are jointly hosting a conference that will focus on the province’s experience in attracting foreign (and domestic) investment and creating a positive investment climate, followed by a networking reception that will provide an opportunity to get to know key officials and discuss plans in an informal setting.

We, Sep 23 (HCMC) Fri Sep 25 (Hanoi) Navigos Salary Survey 2009 Arm your company with the right information to make your next strategic step in planning your Compensation & Benefit policies. Share your view points on remuneration practices with other HR practitioners and business leaders and learn about best practices. Seat availability is limited. Call or email us NOW.

Fr, Sep 25 Vietnam Investment Forum in New York City The Inaugural Institutional Investor’s Annual Vietnam Investment Forum, to be held alongside the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, will provide fresh perspectives on Vietnam’s economic growth, financial markets and key industries in the year ahead.

Fr-Su, Sep 25-27 Networking Weekend in Hoi An This weekend visit to Hoi An offers a unique opportunity to indulge in the luxury of the award-winning Nam Hai Resort for only $ 160/night. Welcome cocktail party and beach BBQ on Friday evening. Test your skills on the fabulous Montgomerie Links golf course, or visit the Cham Museum or Marble Mountain. Many optional activities, or just relax by the ocean or pool.

Su, Sep 27 AmCham Scholarship Program 2009 Information Session. 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. Click the link for more information.

Tu, Sep 29 Members Lunch: Current HR Trends and Labor Law Aspects of the Economic Crisis Join AmCham members and guests to first learn about HR immediate trends in the market, and then discuss regulations of Vietnam labor law which can be used to possibly help make the recovery from the crisis easier for companies and help sustain them in a changing and challenging business landscape.

Tu-We, Sep 29-30 Greater Mekong Subregion Energy Conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia The two-day conference will support and complement the Asian Development Bank’s GMS Economic Cooperation (GMS-EC) program goal of establishing regional production and distribution of energy, and will allow public and private sector representatives from the region to learn about the GMS-EC scheme and network with relevant actors to contribute to the process of regional energy integration.

Tu, Sep 29 AmCham Young Professionals Palooza Party Come and meet others in Ho Chi Minh City with free food and drink specials. The monthly Young Professionals Palooza Party is a platform to develop networking opportunities, information exchange, and new friendships.

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.

Th-Sa, Nov 12-14 The APEC CEO Summit in Singapore will deliberate the most pressing issues facing the world. Over 800 senior business figures from across the Asia Pacific region and beyond will gather in Singapore to listen to, network with and engage in discussion with APEC Leaders and the region’s key decision makers.

Th, Nov 26 9th Annual Thanksgiving “Turkey Shoot” Golf Tournament This fun golf outing has been held more-or-less annually since 2001 to celebrate Thanksgiving. Enjoy 18 holes of golf, followed by comraderie at the Vietnam Golf and Country Club.

Th, Nov 26 10th AmCham Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Dinner Americans have warm memories of Thanksgiving, the main family get-together holiday, as we gather with our families ‘round a table brimming with traditional dishes, to enjoy the blessing of the year, good fellowship, and to remember those members of our family who can’t be with us on the occasion. If you do not have plans to go home to enjoy Thanksgiving with your family, then join us.

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.

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

China – H1N1 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. The seemingly random nature of the selection process makes it almost impossible to predict when a traveler may be placed into quarantine. Travelers with even a slightly elevated body temperature risk being placed into hospital quarantine, while passengers sitting in close proximity to another traveler with fever or flu-like symptoms may be taken to a specially-designated hotel for a quarantine of approximately seven days, even if they show no symptoms themselves. The Department of State continues to receive reports about poor quarantine conditions, including the unavailability of suitable drinking water and food, unsanitary conditions, the lack of telephone access, the absence of English-speaking staff, and limited availability of English-language interpreters.

U.S. firms as diverse as soft-drink giant Coca-Cola and internationally-renowned architects Pelli Clarke Pelli continue to demonstrate their interest and commitment to Vietnam.

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects to design Vietncombank Tower in Ho Chi Minh City Vietcombank, also known as the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam, is the flagship bank of Vietnam. The new tower will herald Vietcombank’s major presence in Vietnam’s fastest growing city and largest commercial center. In addition to the branch headquarters, the 35-story Grade A building will contain multi-tenant offices, ancillary facilities, retail, restaurants, and parking. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2010 and end in 2012. The preliminary construction cost is estimated at $ 67 million.

Coca-Cola CEO commits to invest another $ 200 million in Vietnam during HCMC Visit Coca-Cola has already invested more than 200 million USD in Vietnam and has committed to invest 200 million USD more over the next 3 years. We are very optimistic about the future of our business here. Independent studies show that Coca-Cola generates 10 additional jobs in industries such as ingredients, packaging, distribution and retailing for every direct Coca-Cola employee. With over 1,500 direct employees in Vietnam Coca-Cola is indirectly creating more than 15,000 local jobs in the country.

In Antibribery Law, Some Fear Inadvertent Chill on Business (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) The U.S. Department of Justice, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission, has used the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to levy record fines and penalties against large and small multinational corporations. At least 120 companies were being investigated for FCPA violations as of this spring, 2009.

Weak U.S. “Back-to-School” Sales Spell Trouble for Holidays U.S. Retailers traditionally rely on “back-to-school” sales as an barometer of demand for the remainder of the year. Customers should find ever slimmer pickings and fewer clerks as stores hold off on early holiday orders and further trim costs. The decrease would be the 12th consecutive month of sales declines.

Behind the unproven H1N1 flu vaccine 90,000 Americans could die of H1N1. “It is very likely that something upward of 50% will be affected. All of us have a responsibility to blunt the epidemic by decreasing the spread of virus. If people understand that they can mitigate the epidemic by washing their hands and staying home when they are sick, it means the peak of disease will occur later, when there is more vaccine available.”

Reluctant U.S. shoppers hold back recovery – Wall Street Journal “A real recovery will be driven by two things: real estate and consumer spending. We have a very long way to go.”

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 below image to download the Deepwater Port Tour Presentation, Aug 20, 2009

Deepwater Ports in Southern Key Economic Region

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 900 representatives of over 450 AmCham 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

Vietnam : Click fraud’s new Asian connection? Fully 48% of Vietnam’s clicks are fraudulent, according to a recent report, compared with 28% of U.S. clicks. It’s likely a sign of click fraudsters routing their scams through the country’s growing number of hijacked PCs. Vietnam’s number of detectable signals from the Conficker worm, a piece of malicious software that has spread to millions of computers worldwide, has increased 100-fold since January.

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