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Private Equity, TPP Update, Roads to Myanmar, USA Independence Day


AmCham invites you to attend a Members Night, with networking cocktails and buffet reception. Members' spouses and guests are not only invited but also encouraged to attend with you. The cocktail reception will offer networking opportunities for one-on-one conversations with the Consulate General Team, AmCham Governors, fellow members, and especially to meet new members. 

Global Development Alliance for Disaster Reduction Business Opportunity
USAID plans to make awards of between $500,000 and $1 million for proposals to mobilize private sector resources, expertise, and contributions for reduce natural disaster risks in Vietnam, Burma, and Thailand. Interested private sector businesses are invited to learn more about USAID 2013 Global Development Alliance Program Statement and call for partnerships bringing together the private and public sector. The closing date for 5-page concept papers is May 8, 2013.
Seeking funding for Child Genital Reconstruction Surgeries,
Hanoi, Vietnam, June 15 - 30, 2013, for 22 children in Hanoi and 8 in Da Nang who have lost their genitals through birth malformations and traumatic injuries. 
Dr. Roberto DeCastro (Bologne) and Dr. Dinh Tue (Houston) will perform 30 infant and child operations at no charge for the disadvantaged families. The entire mission requires $70,000. Any size donations appreciated.
For additional information contact: Greig Craft, President, AIP Foundation (a US 501(c)(3) tax exempt charity) | Tel: +84987186688 | Email: [email protected] - [email protected]
Events, Meetings & Special Offers

Tu, May 7


- Private Equity and Venture Capital - What it is and how does it work. 
- An overview of the globalization of Private Equity and Venture Capital. 
- Private Equity and Venture Capital in emerging markets. 
- Private Equity and Venture Capital activity in Vietnam.

We, May 8

Breakfast Briefing: All roads lead to Myanmar - Vietnam and Myanmar legal and tax comparison 

It is impossible to ignore the enormous economic, political and social transformation sweeping through Myanmar in recent times. The significant developments in Myanmar's economic and political landscape are somehow similar to the ones Vietnam experienced over the past couple of decades.

We, May 22

AmCham Palooza Party


AmCham will continue its series of monthly informal networking events at the coolest and latest nightspots in Ho Chi Minh City.

Free admission for members

VND 100,000/non-member

includes free canapes; special prices for drinks, charged upon consumption to individual guests by the Restaurant

U.S. policy towards Burma has undergone a discernible shift in its approach since a quasi-civilian government was established in March 2011. While the overall objectives of U.S. policy towards the country remain in place, the establishment of civilian democratic government based on the rule of law and the protection of basic human rights, the Obama Administration has moved from a more reactive, "action-for-action" strategy and a skeptical and cautious attitude towards the newly created Union Government and Union Parliament to a more proactive mode. The new approach is designed to foster further reforms based on some form of partnership with the Union Government, headed by President Thein Sein.


Celebrate your marvellous mother with a splendid day of delight at New World Hotel Saigon.

- Health set at Dynasty 

- VIP upgrade at The Spa 

- Complimentary cupcakes for Mother at Parkview 

- Afternoon Tea at the Lounge 


Korean Air offers one of the largest global networks in the industry, connecting 125 cities in over 45 countries. Fly to your favorite destinations with us any day because we understand that the world is your stage.

In the 70 years of working directly with managers at all levels in organizations around the world, Hay Group has recognized that effective leaders share a core group of essential skills and behaviors. These managerial competencies include a clear understanding of the demands of the managerial role, as well as specific behaviors and approaches to directing and motivating a team in order to improve performance and productivity - and they are at the core of this workshop.  
KiemViec.com (owned by CareerBuilder, USA - the world's largest job and recruitment network) has announced the launch of a special promotion for job seekers with prizes valued up to VND 1.1 billion. Career opportunities for candidates are no longer limited to Vietnam's borders, but have been expanded to reach 62 markets around the world.
Committee Activities
When:     Tuesday, May 15, 2013 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm 
Where:    Baker & McKenzie Offices

When:     Monday, May 15, 2013 - 8:45 - 10:15 am
    Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon
Manufacturing Committee
When:    Tuesday, May 20, 2013 - 2:00pm - 5:00pm
    AmCham Office 3F, New World Hotel Saigon

When:     Monday, May 24, 2013 - 3 - 5pm
    AmCham Office 3F, New World Hotel Saigon
News and Issues Updates
As ambassador, Peterson made it his aim to see as much of the country as he could. He visited different province regularly, always making a point of stopping by a school, a hospital and a company or factory. It was on his visits to the overcrowded hospitals that he began to adopt his new cause. "What I realized in these visits was at least half the people being treated in those facilities shouldn't have been there at all because they were suffering from injuries that could have been prevented," he says. 
Clean Waterways for Ho Chi Minh City

The 33-square-kilometer Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Basin is home to about 1.2 million people. The area's canal is also heavily polluted by untreated wastewater from an aged combined sewer system inadequate to serve the rapidly growing population. To meet HCM City's goal of becoming a modern economic hub, wastewater flows must be removed from the basin and canal. CDM Smith is managing the project.

Vietnam's state coal miner may make it onto a list of the world's top mining companies by just one measure: its workforce. With almost 140,000 staff, it has more than BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Rio Tinto Plc (RIO) combined. Vietnam National Coal Mineral Industries had about $4 billion in sales last year, compared with a combined $123 billion for BHP and Rio Tinto, the world's biggest mining companies. The difference in productivity shows the need and challenge facing Vietnam's structural reform of SOEs.

State sector touted as main economic driver again
It is once again stated that the State economic sector plays the leading role in the economy in the updated draft version of the amended Constitution, according to the Committee for Drafting Amendments to the 1992 Constitution. The drafting committee explained the statement "the State economic sector plays the leading role in the economy" helped identify the pivotal role of the State sector and reflected the nature of the regime. The committee proposed the draft should alternatively say that "the State develops the socialist-oriented market economy, with various forms of ownership, with various economic sectors in which the State economic sector plays the key role and together with the collective economic sector lays a solid foundation for the national economy. "The private economic sector is one of the driving forces for the economy, while the foreign-invested economic sector is encouraged for development," says the draft.
"We will prioritize funding from the city's budget for this industry. HCMC has raised funds for research, experimental production and chip development," said Vice Chairman Lê Mạnh Hà. He said the Government had a preferential policy for hi-tech industries, including loans worth up to 85% of the investment cost and credit support. And there should be a policy for market development, such as technical barriers to protect locally-made products. State agencies, banks, security and engineering firms should use chips produced at home. This will guarantee sales for chip manufacturers and ensure safety and security for the users.
Vietnam's government needs to accelerate structural reforms of SOEs, the banking sector, and public investment to boost growth that was at a 13-year low last year, NA Vice Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said. "The economy will continue to face difficulties this year" amid an international slowdown and domestic challenges, Ngan said at a conference held by the National Assembly's economic committee.

"The government needs to improve its current master plan to restructure state companies and overhaul the banking system, otherwise it will not work effectively as it lacks clear action plans," Truong Dinh Tuyen, a member of the National Financial Monetary Policy Advisory Council, said after the conference.

Vietnam needs to "urgently put in place a non-performing loan resolution mechanism" and strengthen risk management and corporate governance systems, said Deepak Mishra, the World Bank's lead economist in Hanoi. Vietnam's economic challenges "can't be fixed by repeatedly easing monetary and fiscal policies," he said. 
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked ministries, branches and localities to create favourable conditions to attract investment, especially foreign invested and high-tech projects. He said that more drastic structural reform measures are needed in public investment, state-owned enterprises and the banking sector. He made the request at the cabinet's April meeting that opened in Hanoi on April 26 to review socio-economic development during the first four months of the year, and discuss measures for the following months. 
Something has gone wrong for Vietnam. It finds it's no longer the same darling of foreign investors it used to be. For three years in succession, it has failed to reach its foreign direct investment (FDI) targets and the government, judging from recent remarks by its ministers, is worried. If the slide continues, they fear, there will be an adverse impact on economic growth, and if economic growth falters, investors could become even more hesitant. ...

From April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance for Windows XP. This means that users will no longer receive security updates that help protect PCs from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. Windows XP still makes up 45.8% of operating systems in Vietnam, over 5.5 million PCs. Now is the time to upgrade from the decade old software.
Last year, Vietnam exported 1.73 million tons of coffee, worth USD$3.67 billion and accounting for more than 50 per cent of the world's Robusta, which is used in instant coffee or other blends. Most Vietnamese coffee farmers have never heard of a double tall skinny latte, but they could tell you the price of the beans that go into one in their sleep. "I used to carry my coffee to market by bicycle," said 44-year-old farmer Ama Diem. "Now I check the bean price on my mobile phones" before making the trip. ... 
Japan is the fourth largest exporter in the world, but its trade policy is falling behind that of other countries, not just immense, low-wage China, but also advanced competitors like Korea. In 2003 Korea established a "roadmap" for free trade with all major trade partners and has nearly completed this mission. Korea has signed agreements with the European Union, the United States and many Asian neighbors, and by the end of 2012 had finished four rounds of negotiations with China. Economic analysis strongly supports the many Japanese business, academic and political leaders who are now urging membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as well as other regional trade negotiations. Japan would be the largest beneficiary of a 13-member TPP agreement. Its GDP gains could reach $119 billion dollars per year, or 2.2 percent of GDP in 2025. Japanese exports would rise by 14 percent over baseline projections. These large gains depend in part on reducing non-tariff and investment barriers, an important feature of the TPP that should lead to substantial new foreign investment in Japan, greater exports of sophisticated manufactured products, and improvements in service productivity.
By providing a focal point for the deregulation and competitiveness measures that Japan's economy sorely needs, it helps achieve the single most important component of Prime Minister Abe's economic strategy: structural reform. For Japan, TPP participation also puts aside the concern that the third largest economy in the world, and fourth largest exporter, will play a marginal role in international trade negotiations. ... 
As part of the "third arrow" of Prime Minister Abe's revitalization strategy, the TPP should enhance Japanese competitiveness and build confidence among investors and consumers. It would not require much government spending and could help to cement Japan's political ties with North America and Southeast Asia.

Japan's benefits from TPP would be around ¥10 trillion or 2 percent of GDP, three times as large as the Government estimates,  ¥3 trillion, or 0.66 percent of GDP. This is because Japan's Government uses an older economic model to calculate benefits, which has produced significant underestimates in the past. For example, in the case of NAFTA (U.S., Canada and Mexico), actual increases were FIVE TIMES as large as those estimated with models similar to that used by Japan's Government. We use a newer model. 
The Master Plan for the 5,000 hectare airport was approved in April 2011. Land clearance and compensation is now estimated at 10 trillion vnd (about $477 million). Dong Nai province is preparing a master plan/zoning to develop the 21,000 hectares surrounding the airport, with the support of Australian experts. There is no estimate yet on the cost for relocation / site clearance for the surrounding area. In the first phase to 2020, Long Thanh Airport will have two runways, be able to accommodate the largest passenger aircraft currently flying, and to handle 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of cargo a year. By 2025, the plan calls for 50 million passengers/year, which would put it in the "Top 30." 
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement can double Vietnam's apparel and textile exports to the US, according to Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association Consultant Le Quoc An. China presently accounts for a 37 percent share in the US textile and apparel market, while Vietnam only has an 8 percent share. If the TPP deal is inked, it would help Vietnam capture a 10 percent points share from China, as Vietnamese textiles and apparel would then enjoy greater benefits than products from China, which does not form a part of the TPP agreement. Vietnamese textile and apparel exports to the US are presently subjected to a 17 percent levy, which would either be halved or reduced to zero under the TPP, he added.


On goods market access, U.S. trade officials said they had a positive exchange with Vietnam at the Singapore round. One source said USTR is planning a new exchange of goods offers with Vietnam in April. USTR has indicated that Vietnam's most recent offer on services and investment yielded only technical as opposed to substantive improvements. USTR has been working closely with Vietnam to help it draft a services offer based on the negative list approach being used in TPP, which Vietnam has never before done in a trade agreement. Four TPP chapters are to be completed in May: sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS), Technical Barriars to Trade (TBT), Investment, Services. 

"Vietnam will lose more than it gains if it signs the TPP agreement when it has not well readied conditions for participation. This is my concern in the role of a head of the ministry responsible for general economic issues," Ministry of Planning & Investment Minister Bui Quanh Vinh said at a Vietnam-Singapore Business Forum in HCMC. As a result, Vietnam will only sign an agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership currently under negotiation when the country has made all necessary preparations in order to lessen negative impact on its economy and businesses, he said. 

Vietnam's economy stabilized in 2012 as previous policy tightening suppressed inflation and bolstered external accounts. Subdued economic growth prompted an easing of monetary policy last year, but lending was constrained by problems in the banks. GDP growth is forecast to edge up this year and next, with inflation in the high single digits. Sustaining foreign direct investment inflows and maintaining competitiveness requires intensified efforts to reform banking, state-owned enterprises, and the business environment.

GDP growth ebbed to 5.0% in 2012, the slowest in 13 years, as fiscal and monetary tightening in 2011 continued to have an impact into 2012. While the policies took a toll on growth, they achieved sharp reductions in inflation and a more stable exchange rate, and they contributed to a record current account surplus and to rebuilding foreign reserves
Amway to invest an additional $20 million in 2nd plant in Binh Duong
Speaking at the fifth anniversary celebration of Amway, President Doug Devos said that the new plant would cover over 54,000 square meters at VSIP II. The production capacity is estimated to reach US$200 million per year, seven times higher than that of the first plant, located at Amata Industrial Park in Dong Nai Province. After five years, Vietnam ranks 12th among over 100 countries and territories for Amway sales. With the new plant, Amway expects Vietnam to reach the top ten by 2016. Amway currently holds around 30% of the direct selling segment in Vietnam, with a widespread distribution network of 300,000 distributors, branches, distribution centers and sale points nationwide. Amway has also opened two stores and two training centers in Hanoi and HCMC. 
Sanofi to invest $75 million in 3rd plant and product development center
France's Sanofi pharmaceutical group was awarded a license by the HCMC government to develop a new factory in SHTP besides constructing a product development center there. Christopher A. Viehbacher, managing director of Sanofi, said the US$75-million project will be designed with the largest capacity in Vietnam compared to the two current operational ones in full swing in HCMC. The third plant will have an initial capacity of 90 million packs of medicines annually which is expected to increase to 150 million packs later with a vast array of high-quality medicine and healthcare products. It is set for operation in late 2015 alongside a network of 40 Sanofi factories in emerging markets. 
New World Hotel Saigon #323
76 Le Lai Street, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City