AmCham Vietnam Weekly Update -
46th Week of 2020 - November 15th, 2020
Executive Director Update
Colleagues, we hope you are enjoying the blue skies and pleasantly cooler weather here in Saigon. I was happy to get out and kayak again, although I think I was doing most of the work…

Before we begin this year’s Board of Governors (BOG) election season, we wanted to inform you of a change in our current Board. Michael Kelly, former CEO at The Grand Ho Tram, who was elected to a two-year term last year (through December 2021) has changed employers, and submitted his resignation from the Board, effective October 31. The Board made a decision to appoint his successor, Walt Power, now CEO of The Ho Tram Grand, to fill his seat and complete his term. We are delighted to welcome Walt, a Marine with more than 30 years of experience in the casino and hospitality industry, to the Board. Link to his bio.

Meanwhile, Michael Kelly remains an investor in The Grand Ho Tram and also has taken a position as CEO of BRG Hospitality, a major hospitality company in Vietnam, representing numerous international and local brand hotels, golf courses, theme parks, and restaurants throughout Vietnam, including several major U.S. brand hotels, including the Sheraton Da Nang, Sheraton Nha Trang, Hilton Opera Hanoi, and Intercontinental West Lake.  BRG also recently joined AmCham Vietnam.  We are delighted that Michael will continue his leadership contributions to AmCham as Vice Chairman of our AmCham Vietnam-Da Nang BOG. Michael also will be a candidate for BOG in HCMC in his new role (LINK to bio; more info below re this year’s elections).
Message from AmCham Vietnam - Da Nang Vice Chair Chris Vanloon 

Greetings from Da Nang and I hope you all will stay safe as another typhoon is coming over the weekend. In other news, I am happy to congratulate the new Consulate of the Republic of Korea which officially opened in Da Nang this past Monday. It was an honor for AmCham to be invited to this event and the City looks forward to welcoming tourists from Korea back to Da Nang as soon as we can. Interesting fact, Da Nang received 1.8 million direct Korean visitors in 2019! Also congratulations to the launch of the Circular Economy Hub Project that had the attendance of government partners such as the Da Nang People's Committee, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, UNDP, startups, and sustainability champions in Da Nang region such as our member Evergreen Labs.
Upcoming Events
We hope many of you will join us either in person or virtually on the  morning of Tuesday, November 17 for “Unleashing New Waves of Women Leaders”, organized by ManpowerGroup Vietnam in partnership with AmCham Vietnam. This event will help you fully utilize the talents of all members of your team by recruiting and empowering a diverse and inclusive workforce. It is also useful for professionals dealing with change management, organizational development, strategic planning and talent management. Register via this link!

One of the most important events of the year is happening soon – the elections for AmCham Vietnam-HCMC’s 2021-2022 Board of Governors!  Join our members-only “Meet-the-Candidates Night” on Tuesday evening to meet our impressive slate of candidates and network with fellow AmCham members and friends. Virtual participation also available. Register HERE! Online voting opens after the event through Thursday, December 10. Link to candidates' biographic information and their "Statement of Interest".
On the morning of Wednesday, November 18, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in collaboration with the HCMC People’s Committee and AmCham Vietnam, is hosting the Vietnam–U.S. Trade Forum themed “25 Years of Economic and Trade Relations and the Journey Ahead” at the Rex Saigon Hotel.  Senior Vietnamese and USG officials will participate, including MOIT Vice Minister Hai, HCMC Vice Chairman Duc, and Consul General Marie Damour, as well as AmCham Vietnam Chairman Chad Ovel and I. We hope many of you can join this event to demonstrate the importance of our bilateral trade and investment partnership. The current agenda is here.  There is no fee to join – register via this link.

We are excited to partner again this year with 500 Startups for 500 Startups Demo Day 2020 on Friday afternoon, November 20.  Demo Day is an invite-only event for investors and other stakeholders to get a look at select entrepreneurs from the Saola accelerator program. Limited seats available for AmCham members and friends – register here now!

And please sign up now for our November 24 “Giving Thanks” Dinner – an Evening to Celebrate Excellence in Community Impact!  Demonstrate gratitude for Vietnam’s impressive COVID response, give thanks for this year’s good fortunes, and highlight your company’s CSR programs and ESG initiatives. Join this celebratory holiday event with colleagues and spouses/partners. Register here!
This week’s Committee Meetings (AmCham Members Only)
Recent Events

Many of you joined our November 10 U.S.-Vietnam Policy Outlook 2020 and obtained expert business intelligence on what to expect from the November 3 U.S. elections and the upcoming 13th National Party Congress, with great networking before and after at The Reverie Saigon.  We heard from many about interest in another outlook event in early 2021.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) initiated Section 301 investigations in early October, looking into Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices that may contribute to the undervaluation of currency, and the import and use of timber that is illegally harvested or traded and the resultant harm to U.S. commerce.  While the investigations do not have an immediate impact, they are serious actions. If either of these investigations finds that Vietnam’s acts, policies, or practices burden or restrict U.S. commerce, the President is authorized to undertake retaliatory actions, which could include tariffs on Vietnamese exports to the United States.

On behalf of our members, AmCham filed comments regarding both investigations by the November 12th deadline. We filed joint comments with AmCham Hanoi for the currency investigations and filed on behalf of AmCham Vietnam-HCMC & Da Nang for the timber investigation. Details about the Section 301 investigations and AmCham Vietnam submissions are in the links below: 

We also had several Committee meetings last week, including Energy; Tourism and Hospitality; Education and Training; Environment, Social and Governance; and Agriculture. Many thanks to our Committee leaders and all who participated and shared your expertise and concerns! 

"Thanks to the Consulate FAS for hosting our Committee meeting, complete with Starbucks coffee!"
We welcome your feedback at to let us know how we can serve you better. 

Mary Tarnowka, Executive Director
COVID Update
Vietnam has now experienced over 70 days without reported community transmission, but the situation in the United States has gotten dire, with over 180,000 new cases Friday alone and is also averaging over 1000 deaths per day.  Public health officials have expressed concerns about another expected spike after the Thanksgiving holidays.  

The good news is that Pfizer announced this week that early data shows the vaccine it developed with Germany’s BioNTech SE is 90% effective.  Pfizer is expected to apply for emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this month, and possibly to begin distributing the vaccine as early as December. Pfizer is targeting a goal of 1.3 billion doses in 2021. Nonetheless, this will not be an overnight miracle – manufacturing and distribution limitations will constrain delivery, at least initially.  Cold storage requirements are also a challenge; the vaccine is required to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius.  Distribution plans currently target front-line healthcare workers and residents of elder care facilities in the United States, first.  Public willingness to take a vaccine is also critical for its effectiveness.

In Viet Nam, the Russian Sputnik V vaccine is on its way, but Phase 3 trials are a question-mark. There are also 2 vaccines being distributed in China.

Sponsored News

As cross-border transactions are becoming increasingly common, businesses and individuals are turning to electronic signatures to save time and costs. Instead of waiting for documents to be transported by courier around the globe, the relevant parties can finalise and execute their contract in a matter of seconds. Nevertheless, there are still reservations about their security, effectiveness, and legitimacy. This article aims to demystify electronic signatures under the lens of the law and the technology that make possible and easy e-commerce, contributing to the rise of globalisation in the 21st century.

You’re invited
to have Breakfast with our Leadership Team.
Open to the wider community, our Leadership team would like you to join them for breakfast and share with you 'Who We Are'.
- Meet our dynamic and passionate leaders 
- Experience an internationally diverse community united by a Culture of Achievement & Care 
- Find out how ISHCMC's personalized learning ensures your child will grow and succeed 
Register today to join us! 
Morning refreshments will be available. RSVP required due to limited places. Health & Safety measures apply. Selected dates only.
Do You Know?
Let’s support local businesses. If you have any questions regarding our program, please contact Membership Manager Sam Hoang at
AmCham Premium Membership
The AmCham Premium Membership 2020 is a leadership-level membership for companies contributing strategic support for AmCham's mission and programs. Our Premium Membership comes with a range of exclusive benefits. One all-inclusive Premium Membership's annual billing simplifies your businesses' sponsorship efforts.
We love our AmCham members! Do you know all the benefits you get with your membership? Maybe you only remember the ones you've used recently, but there are many ways even our basic level members benefit at AmCham.
In the News

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