AmCham Vietnam Weekly Update - 28th Week of 2020 - July 12, 2020
Executive Director Update
25th Anniversary of U.S.-Vietnam Diplomatic Relations
Colleagues, We hope you have taken some time this week to reflect on the U.S.-Vietnam bilateral partnership, which celebrated its 25-year anniversary on July 11. The U.S. business community has played an important role in promoting normalization of relations and developing our economic partnership. We at AmCham are proud of the role our members continue to play driving innovation, contributing to sustainable growth, and promoting prosperity in both the United States and Vietnam. I have included a few links below that provide more insights into how far we have come and the potential for our future partnership.

Recent and Upcoming Events

The AmCham team was thrilled to see so many of you at our Independence Day event on July 4th. It really felt like a community gathering. Please check out our photo links and Facebook posts - and see if you have a winning raffle ticket ! [ LINK]

Vietnam continues to receive global recognition for its effective management of the COVID-19 pandemic - now nearly 90 days without community spread! And Patient 91, Vietnam Airlines pilot Stephen Cameron, was tested COVID-free, and healthy enough to begin his journey back to home Scotland today. [ LINK]

We hope you are continuing to enjoy our unique almost-normal environment and freedoms and getting out and supporting your local restaurants and shops, enjoying a staycation at a nearby hotel -- or visiting some of the other beautiful resorts and destinations in Vietnam. We will be holding our first post-launch Da Nang Connect & Cocktails this Friday night, July 19 at El Gaucho Restaurant. We hope some of you can join, meet some of your Da Nang-based colleagues, enjoy the beautiful beaches and historic sites of Hoi An and My Son, maybe some golf or snorkeling, and help promote the tourism sector in Da Nang!

We also will be promoting several of our local Discount Partners at our July 30 Connect & Cocktails at the Equatorial Hotel in HCMC. Please join, meet new friends and colleagues, and support your local businesses! AmCham is partnering to support AusCham's 2020 Golf Scramble in Da Nang, HCMC, and Hanoi and encourage our AmCham golfers to join. 

Travel of Foreigners:   On July 10, we were delighted to host a Business Intelligence Briefing on Facilitating Travel of Foreigners to Vietnam with AmCham Vice Chair and Baker & McKenzie Partner Hang Nguyen and Mazars Vietnam Partner Hai Minh Nguyen. They provided updates on the current state of play and tips on how to meet the different requirements to apply for travel of foreign experts, investors, business managers, and highly skilled workers, and in certain cases, their family members. We also filed an advocacy position paper seeking greater transparency and coordination for such policies with national ministries and People's Committees in HCMC, Hanoi, and Da Nang, and discussed our concerns with the HCMC External Relations Office. We will provide additional updates as policies change.

Labor and Employment Issues:   On July 11, we welcomed Mr. Stephen Le Hoang Chuong, Founder of Le & Tran, to advise members how to handle employment disputes, termination, and other related issues. 
On a related note, we would also welcome member feedback on two draft MOLISA draft Labor Code decrees. [ LINK] , [ LINK] . Please provide any feedback by close of business on Tuesday, July 14 to the HR Committee and Sanny Doan (  and ), who will be coordinating drafting of our submission.

Although July typically is a slow month for AmCham, this year, many more of our committees are meeting regularly and we will continue to hold events to support you. I will also encourage our team to take some time off to rest and recharge and will try to set a better example:) We hope you will also make time to take a break and recharge. Meanwhile, we welcome your feedback at  to let us know how we can serve you better, including what topics you would like to see covered in upcoming events. 

Mary Tarnowka, Executive Director
Stay Informed- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak
AmCham Vietnam wants to provide a safe environment for events and business networking. We recognize that there is always a risk of a second outbreak, particularly if measures liberalize with respect to international arrivals. We also know that we all have different comfort levels with respect to the changing situation.  [LINK]

In response, AmCham has begun a rating system for all of our events, explained below. We hope this is useful to you in making your own decisions about which events in which you would like to participate. As always, we welcome your feedback at .
Stay informed of the latest updates on COVID-19 at

Some additional tips below from Dr. Mason Cobb, Vice-Chair, and Dr. Andy Meadows, of AmCham Healthcare Committee’s Medical Providers Subcommittee:

This week, WHO declared that the global COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating and the peak has not yet been reached. National differences in response strategies and poor coordination and compliance are part of the difficulties in containing the pandemic.

This week highlighted the WHO’s challenges both politically and scientifically. On the political side, the US formally announced its intent to withdraw from the organization. Scientifically, a heated debate regarding the method of virus transmission exploded in the media and professional journals.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been generally accepted that large respiratory droplets transmit the virus. This foundational belief led to reliance on public health measures such as masks and social distancing of 1-2 meters, among others. However, 239 medical researchers from 32 countries publicly announced concern that the virus may be transmitted via smaller aerosol particles, which linger in the air much longer and may spread farther, being especially dangerous indoors. If additional research proves this claim, the WHO may have to alter guidance dealing with indoor ventilation systems, social distancing, and alter mask considerations, especially for high-risk groups (i.e. N-95 masks).

While the number of COVID-19 cases rages on, vaccine developers continue to make rapid progress. In particular, several versions around the world show promise using a new method, RNA vaccines. RNA vaccines can be rapidly designed and expect to be easily produced compared to traditional vaccine methods. Early trial results have been promising. For example, Pfizer’s RNA candidate vaccine produced equal or more antibodies than those who had COVID-19 disease, itself. The timeline for vaccine availability remains uncertain, with larger human trials taking time to accurately assess safety and efficacy. The most optimistic estimates for approval and distribution are for very late 2020.

Vietnam is still in a safe bubble. Although there has been no community spread for 2 ½ months, the sword hangs over our heads. Every week, COVID-19 cases fly in for repatriation – 14 positives on a recent flight. During this uncertain time, healthy living remains the best medicine available to everyone until a vaccine is widely available. Taking care of yourself helps boost your immunity – your best defense against this virus (and anything else that might come your way). Pause to consider lifestyle choices including stress reduction, healthy nutrition, exercise, adequate sleep, quitting smoking, and moderate alcohol intake. Making the right choices in these areas will allow your body to work at its peak and to the best of its ability in fighting off disease of all sorts.
Upcoming Events
11:30am-1:30pm, Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon, 8-15 Ton Duc Thang St., Dist. 1 

Event Level Rating: II
Vietnam recently announced new rules designed to tax the digital economy and apply from 1 July 2020. These new rules include registration requirements for non-resident e-commerce businesses and withholding tax arrangements for financial institutions. These rules are globally unique and will have far reaching implications.
But how with these rules work in practice, and how will Vietnam’s financial institutions deal with these new rules?
Dean Rolfe a tax partner with KPMG Vietnam will share some observations on this matter including discussion on how these rules are likely to work in practice and some of the challenges that will be created through the implementation and adoption of these new requirements.
6:00-8:30pm, Hotel Equatorial Ho Chi Minh City, 242 Tran Binh Trong St., District 5

AmCham will continue our monthly informal networking event – AmCham Connect and Cocktails!
Our AmCham Connect & Cocktails provides an opportunity to meet AmCham members and other professionals in an informal after-work setting over a glass of wine, beer, or a cocktail.
Please plan to join for a great night of networking and our essential Lucky Draw!!
Note this month’s Connect & Cocktails will feature several of our Discount Partners. Come and support local business!
Sponsored News

Evidence is always critical in litigation and it plays a large part in determining whether you will win or lose a case. However, coming from a common law country like the US, you may not be aware of how different the rules of evidence are in Vietnam. In this insight, we will outline some of the distinct rules of evidence in civil litigation in Vietnam, and how you can adapt your business practices to protect yourself and your organization.

With quality recruitment services and the biggest offers of the year , VietnamWorks  offers a wider opportunity for you to approach our large database of candidates, to help your company save maximum costs to quickly grow again after the Covid-19 pandemic. 
Please refer to the program details by clicking on the image above!

Green Shoots International School has been educating children in Hoi An for almost a decade. We are a member of the Council of International Schools, Council of British International Schools, Cambridge Exams, and the IPC curriculum. Our graduates have progressed, often with scholarships, to IB schools around the world.

Considering a move to the fresh air and lower cost of living in Central Vietnam? Register for our webinar this Saturday and learn how you can join our community
Committee Meetings & Activities (For AmCham Members Only)
9:00-10:30am, Please register to get the link for virtual attendance.

Event Level Rating: II

Monthly meeting to discuss 2020 priorities.
5:00-6:15pm, Baker & McKenzie (Vietnam) Ltd, 12th Floor, Saigon Tower, 29 Le Duan Street, Dist. 1

Event Level Rating: II

Regular monthly meeting of the committee to review upcoming events, discuss and prepare positions on key issues, laws and regulations relating to trade and investment between Vietnam and the United States.
9:00-10:15am, Please register to get the link for virtual attendance.

Event Level Rating: IV

Monthly meeting to discuss 2020 priorities.
9:00-10:00am, Please register to get the link for virtual attendance.

Event Level Rating: II

Monthly meeting to discuss 2020 priorities.
Do You Know?
Let’s support local businesses - many now operating online or delivery/takeout only to promote social distancing. If you have any questions regarding our program, please contact Membership Manager Sam Hoang at
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The American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam
New World Hotel Suite 323
76 Le Lai Street, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Phone: +84 28 3824 3562