Weekly Update Sep 27: ADB Projects, Credit Guarantees

Upcoming Highlights

Tu, Sep 28 ADB Finance/Development Projects in Vietnam and the GMS
Tu, Sep 28 Business Networking: Credit guarantees for agricultural imports from USA
Two Web Sites for Overseas U.S. Voters: Online Voter Registration & Ballot Delivery
Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy in Vietnam: Some Challenges, IMF’s Benedict Bingham

Events, Meetings, Activities, and Special Offers for Members

From 20 September, Park Hyatt Saigon is proudly presenting world-class singer Rie Furuse to entertain discerning guests in the Park Lounge and embrace the festive spirit of the approaching Year End.

Tu, Sep 28 ADB Finance/Development Projects in Vietnam and the GMS The ADB is a major development assistance partner for Vietnam, for the period 2007-2010 the ADB provided US$ 3 billion in loans to Vietnam. This session will help you learn about ADB priorities and projects in Vietnam. In addition, you will understand the qualification and procurement requirements to do business with ADB-funded projects.

Tu, Sep 28 Business Networking: Credit guarantees for agricultural imports from the USA The U.S. Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) programs encourage imports of U.S. agricultural products from buyers in countries where credit is necessary, but where financing may not be available without CCC guarantees.

Fr, Oct 1 The Australian International School 2nd Early Childhood Campus Launch Party The Australian International School Saigon proudly announces the opening of its second Early Childhood Campus in January 2012 located within the prestigious Xi Riverview Palace in An Phu, Thao Dien.

Fr-Fr, Oct 1-8 Nordic Week is back at Hotel Equatorial after a huge success of the Nordic Week last year and numerous requests from our guests to bring back this unique event to Vietnam. Sweden’s most celebrated Chefs Gert Klötzke, Marten Karlsson and Martin Isaksson will spoil you with their creations of some of the most mouth-watering Nordic specialties. You cannot miss this unique event featuring wine dinners, buffets, cooking classes, Swedish Smorgasbord and more.

We, Oct 13 IPR Enforcement Update and Outlook (Members Only) Peter Fowler, US Patent and Trademark Office Senior Counsel for Enforcement and Acting Deputy Administrator for External Affairs, will provide an update and outlook on current and future IPR issues in Vietnam, including the IP Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement.

Th, Oct 14 4th Vietnam Container Ports & Logistics Conference On the back of increasing production costs in China, manufacturers are once again investing their dollars in Vietnam’s potential as a manufacturing hub. Ports operators and logistics providers must satisfy the increasing needs of these customers and deliver high service levels to ensure competitiveness.

Th, Oct 21 APEC Transparency Standards on Gov’t Procurement in Vietnam Consultation meeting on the implementation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Transparency Standards on Government Procurement in Vietnam.

Th, Oct 21 Dr. Stephen R. Covey: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” In a rare IN-PERSON presentation by Dr Stephen R Covey, you’ll discover why The 7 Habits principles have been called “the world’s leading effectiveness process.” This is your unique opportunity to create a blueprint for success.

Th, Oct 21 APEC Transparency Standards on Government Procurement in Vietnam (by invitation) Consultation meeting on the implementation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Transparency Standards on Government Procurement in Vietnam.

We, Oct 27 AmCham Young Professionals Palooza Party Come meet others in Ho Chi Minh City with free food and drink specials.

We, Nov 10 International Product Safety & Restricted Substances Conference Apparel and footwear brands must ensure that the dynamic U.S. government regulations and other restricted substances standards are in compliance throughout the supply chain. Retailers and industry experts will discuss product safety regulations, new testing requirements, utilization of AAFA’s Restricted Substances List (RSL), retailer concerns and consequences of non-compliance. Organized by the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA).

Th, Nov 11 U.S. Trade Policy: Implications for Vietnam Attend this session to learn how the current U.S. political climate and “new U.S. trade agenda” will impact your business, and how you can take definitive actions to ensure your company is optimally positioned to cope with an ever-changing international trade environment.

Th, Nov 25 10th Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot Scramble Golf Tournament (Members and Invited Guests) Register for this fun golf outing, held annually since 2001 to celebrate Thanksgiving, first organized by then AmCham Chairman. Enjoy 18 holes of golf, followed by comradeship at the Vietnam Golf and Country Club.

Th, Nov 25 11th AmCham Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Dinner Join us in the old-fashioned Thanksgiving Dinner with Turkey and all the trimmings, Pumpkin Pie, nice lucky draw prizes, and good entertainment.

Two Web Sites for Overseas U.S. Voters: Online Voter Registration & Ballot Delivery

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

Vietnam must address concern that VND may slide, IMF’s Benedict Bingham says SBV deserves credit for managing monetary and exchange rate policy under difficult circumstances. However, weaknesses in monetary and exchange rate policy framework have come with a significant cost. Vietnam faces an “embedded expectation of a declining trend in the dong.” The “semi-permanent disequilibrium in the foreign-exchange market” has “undermined confidence in the dong” in part because it has “increased transaction costs and uncertainty for Vietnamese businesses, and impaired Vietnam’s standing among international investors,” he said. The new SBV law provides an opportunity to create a more flexible formal framework for monetary and exchange rate policy.

Vietnam’s mooncakes “grease wheels of commerce” Vietnam’s appetite for mooncakes is rising as adults use the annual treats, traditionally enjoyed by children, to grease the wheels of commerce. Mooncakes are a sweet, round delicacy given to youngsters and offered to ancestors during Vietnam’s Mid-Autumn Festival. But in Vietnam’s rapidly developing economy they have taken on increased importance for grown-ups who use gifts of mooncakes to build business relationships.

Vinashin’s foreign investors worried Foreign creditors hold most or all of $ 600m in loans issued through CreditSuisse and a $ 187m corporate bond issued via Deutsche Bank, both in 2007. Last week, state media announced a government move that should give foreign investors some rest. The state will likely grant Vinashin $ 300m drawn from the state’s bn sovereign bond issue in January. (The immediate need is to pay off Vinashin’s debts to French bank Natixis.)

Time to recalibrate the FDI machine The new FDI strategy needs focus on four main directions, including quality and effectiveness, sustainable development and a low-carbon economy, strong commitments for high technology transfer and a well-skilled workforce.

Price registration to be effective from Oct 1, 2010 (Circular 122), although contrary to the spirit and objectives of the government’s Project 30 to simplify administrative burdens by 30 per cent by the end of this year (Project 30). Circular 122 may also affect assessments of Vietnam’s “market economy status” because the first principle of price stabilization is to let the market stabilize the price based on the rule of ‘supply and demand’.”

10 ways to cut pollution in textile mills Walmart and H&M, two of the world’s largest clothing retailers, have pledged to pilot these guidelines at key textile mills in China before rolling them out across their wider supply chains.

Toshiba opens industrial motors plant in Dong Nai This is the fourth manufacturing base of Toshiba worldwide, after the ones in Japan, the U.S., and China. Investing US$ 29 million for the first phase among the total investment capital of US$ 100 million. Construction began in April 2009 on an eight hectares. In 2015, the plant will ship up to 1.2 million motors a year to the global market, and is expected to provide employment for 500 people.

Alert: Proposed Decree on Retail Distribution, and a presentation from the Ministry of Industry and Trade on the subject. Click the link for more information and to download files in Vietnamese and English.

Southern Key Economic Region: Ports, Industrial Parks, and Other Infrastructure

Project 30: Administrative Procedures Reform: Update (July 20, 2010) Vietnamese citizens and businesses have high expectations for Project 30 with its enormous target of reducing administrative procedures (APs) to save AP compliance costs, ensure openness and transparency of the administrative system, and to overcome needless and costly red tape.

Vietnam and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement) The TPP negotiating partners currently include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States. Malaysia has officially requested to join the TPP negotiations.

Vietnam’s Socio-Economic Development Strategy for 2011-2020 Essential reading for any serious student of Vietnam’s policy formation process, and an important public document designed to frame informed debate. It is a key step in the preparation for the eleventh national congress of the ruling Party that will convene in January 2011.

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

Last week’s most popular links to events and articles

Sa, Sep 25 AmCham Scholarship 2010 Information Session
Sa, Sep 25 ISSP Scholastic Book Fair & Charity Family Fun Fest
Tu, Sep 28 Asian Development Bank Finance and Development Priorities and Projects in Vietnam and the GMS
Th, Oct 21 Dr. Stephen R. Covey: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”
Tu, Oct 14 4th Vietnam Container Ports and Logistics Conference
HONGKONG – the city that never sleeps, now at the dreamy price of VND2,437,500 (USD125)
Sa, Sep 25 International Coastal Clean Up Day (in Vung Tau) (Members Only)

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 following links to download the

Sep 7 Business Networking: Pre-employment screening
Presentation by Tom Vovers, HR2B: Pre-employment screening
Presentation by Sharon Fernandez, AIM: Pre-employment screening
Aug 12 How to meet new U.S. import requirements for environment, quality, safety, and labor
Presentation: Think Green Initiative: Think, Act, Be Green (Intertek Vietnam)

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 100,000 visitors and 260,000 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 1,000 representatives of nearly 500 AmCham companies, plus over 3,500 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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Keep up-to-date about U.S.-Vietnam trade and investment with Weekly Updates (Past Issues).