Weekly eNewsletter
12th & 13th Week of 2021 - April 4, 2021
AmCham Vietnam’s Vision:

The most influential, strategic, and dynamic business association in Vietnam, that drives innovation and sustainable growth, and helps our members succeed. AmCham is a diverse, inclusive, business association and welcomes American, Vietnamese, and international companies that share our interest in enabling a fair, transparent, and predictable regulatory environment that values innovation. A community you want to join.
Dear ,
Wishing all of you the happiest of Easters or Passovers!  My daughter and I hid Easter eggs for young children on our compound, but were happy that the Maison Marou and Savall’s and Orlar Easter bunnies found us!

Congratulations to Ambassador Dan Kritenbrink on his nomination as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs!  It was an honor to hear the news while Ambassador Kritenbrink and the U.S. Mission team were in Da Nang with many AmCham friends for the AmCham National Conference and Networking Weekend!!  Please join us for a farewell dinner for Ambassador Kritenbrink on Monday, April 12, to thank him for all his contributions and wish him well for his new position with the State Department in Washington, DC!

We look forward to seeing many of you this week at our April 7 event on Gender Lens Investing, learning how gender-balanced funds outperform their peers, and at our April 8 Business Intelligence Briefing: JLL’s Vietnam Industrial and Logistics Real Estate Market Forecast, as well as our April 5 Capital Markets and Financial Services, April 7 Education and Training, and April 8 ESG Committee meetings.

We were honored to join AmCham’s 20th AmCham Scholarship Award ceremony on Saturday, April 3. Sixty talented students were selected from 480 applicants from 19 different partner universities for this prestigious scholarship, which provides a financial scholarship as well as practical training.
The AmCham Scholarship program has awarded nearly 1000 scholarships since it was established in 2001. It is a key part of AmCham’s commitment to partner with local educational institutions to enable a globally competitive workforce in Vietnam.
The scholarship program is supported by AmCham member companies, including: Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage, Intel Products Vietnam, Prudential Vietnam, Atoha Practical Project Management Institute, Talentnet Vietnam, PepsiCo Foods Vietnam, Mondelez International Holdings LLC, as well as New World Saigon Hotel.
The program is also supported through the AmCham Governors Ball, and our generous donors and bidders at the event, including @Ben Thanh Art Gallery, Precious Heritage by Réhahn, and Oxalis Adventure, and our volunteer HR expert interviewers, some of whom themselves are AmCham Scholar alumni!
Happy to be joined as well by our top bidder at the Ball, IPP Travel Retail CEO Phillip Nguyen!
We were honored for Ambassador Dan Kritenbrink, Deputy Chief of Mission Chris Klein, Consul General Marie Damour, and so many of the U.S. Mission Vietnam team to join AmCham members from across the country at the March 26-28 AmCham National Conference and Networking Weekend at the Sheraton Grand Da Nang.  We got a good start at networking at the Friday cocktail reception.  Locally-made Savall’s chocolates were an extra treat.  Link to more photos https://flic.kr/s/aHsmUGNXEj
We were honored to kickoff our AmCham National Conference March 27 with a meeting with Da Nang People’s Committee Chairman Le Trung Chinh, together with Ambassador Dan Kritenbrink, Consul General Marie Damour, DCM Chris Klein, AmCham Vietnam Vice Chair Jahanzeb Khan, and AmCham Vietnam-Da Nang Chair Chris Vanloon. 

AmCham values the support from the Da Nang People’s Committee, particularly IPA and DOFA, and is committed to growing membership in our Da Nang chapter, attracting US FDI, and building a dynamic business community.  We want to work with Da Nang and other provinces in Central Vietnam to support economic recovery, enable a safe reopening to international travel and tourism, and drive innovation and sustainable growth.  We want to partner to develop a globally-competitive workforce and help local companies become part of global supply chains.
The AmCham National Conference in Da Nang March 27, was welcomed by AmCham Vietnam-Da Nang Chair Chris Vanloon.  It was AmCham’s largest National Weekend participation ever!  We had productive conversations between AmCham members from throughout Vietnam together with U.S. Mission Vietnam leaders in breakout groups on: Strengthening Trade and Investment: Laying the Groundwork for an Eventual FTA; Enabling a Safe Reopening for International Travel and Tourism; Building Infrastructure for Sustainable Development; and Developing a Globally Competitive Workforce. 
Lots of members said they wished they had more time for these discussions, and even Ambassador Kritenbrink was taking notes.  We will keep working on these issues in working groups and committees.  If you are an AmCham members, let us know if you want to join!
I was honored to join the Conference on Da Nang’s New Master Plan for 2030-2045 on March 29th with AmCham Vietnam-Da Nang Chairman Chris Vanloon, AmCham Strategic Advisor Ly Le, and AmCham members IPPG Chairman Johnathan Hanh Nguyen and BRG Chairwoman Madam Nga.  This event was the Announcement Ceremony of the Approvals of the Government and the Prime Minister of the Development of Da Nang City. The Development Plan focuses on high quality tourism, the digital economy and innovative startups, and marine economy and port development. It incorporates transparent and efficient land use policies and approval processes. The project also envisions the development of a national and regional financial center, including a Singapore-style integrated resort, coordinated by IPPG with U.S. partners Cantor Fitzgerald, Weidner Partners, Steelman, and Sherman & Sterling (who all joined virtually). Investment certificates were issued for several projects, including to BRG and IPPG.  We look forward to working with the Da Nang City Peoples Committee and AmCham members to contribute to innovation and sustainable growth in Da Nang!
AmCham Vietnam partnered with VCCI Vietnam to organize a dialogue with MOLISA on March 25th to discuss issues arising from the implementation of the new Labor Code and Decrees/Circulars on regulations regarding occupational safety and health (OSH). The event hosted over 100 participants from SME and FDI, and was a unique opportunity to facilitate detailed discussion for government and enterprises.  On behalf of AmCham Vietnam, Mr. Pham Tri Trung (Legal Advisor and Advocacy, HR Committee) gave a presentation highlighting specific issues covered in the Decree. AmCham Vietnam and VCCI hope that the dialogue will help support businesses in addressing HR-related issues. The dialogue covered a wide range of issues including labor contracts, working and rest time, salary, labor hygiene and safety, dialogues at workplace, etc. The discussion helped MOLISA understand the difficulties of enterprises during the implementation of the new Labor Code and its guiding documents.  Representatives from enterprises had the opportunity to raise questions and concerns, and to receive guidance from MOLISA. Several issues raised by participants will need to be considered by MOLISA from practical and legal perspectives.  AmCham Vietnam and VCCI hope that the dialogue will help support businesses in addressing HR-related issues in the future.
It was good to see many AmCham members and friends at our March Connect & Cocktails networking event at the beautiful Jardin Des Sens in D3.  Jardin Des Sens was recently named one of “Asia’s Top 80” locations in Fine Dining  https://asiatop80.com/top80lists/vietnam/view/Jardin-Des-Sens-Saigon?fbclid=IwAR1RpMQYqAsnlQFn_RoxcElMkk-nDLGJh8LQVy_fOxIGlp0U5PoF5UQcqkA Many thanks to Jardin Des Sens for hosting us, as well as providing a special benefit for attendees.  All those who attended last week’s Connect & Cocktails event received a special promotion to return to Jardin Des Sens during the month of April for a 20% discount.  Our album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmUBMsfD
We had excellent presentations and discussions on March 30 on Accessing U.S. International Development Corporation (DFC) and U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA) Funding with DFC Regional Managing Director for Lower Mekong Maria Goravanchi and TDA Regional Manager for Asia Brandon Megorden and Project Coordinator Tuyet Trees.  Both USTDA and DFC are keen to do more project financing in Vietnam!
Be well and stay safe. We welcome your feedback at team@amchamvietnam.com to let us know how we can serve you better. Mary
Greetings from Da Nang and I hope you are all well! Another week of beautiful weather here in the city and we are slowly seeing the return of domestic tourists. If you have school holidays or are planning a long weekend for Hung King’s Birthday or even the break at the end of the month for Liberation Day, don’t forget to link with any one of our many Resort and Hotel Members through AmCham. They are all providing excellent discounted rates this month!

Thanks to everyone in AmCham and the U.S. Mission, especially Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink, for attending our National Board Meeting at the Sheraton Grand Resort here in Da Nang. I was so honored to host you all and I believe we had very productive meetings as well as a lot of fun too!
 
Additionally,I want to thank the People’s Committee Chairman Mr. Le Trung Chinh for attending the opening of our conference as well as inviting AmCham to the Announcement Ceremony of The Approvals Of The Government And The Prime Minister On The Development Of Da Nang City. What a great event to hold on the occasion of the 46th anniversary of the liberation of Da Nang City!  Personally looking back on the development of the city since 1998 is already amazing. However, through all the strategic approvals for reimagining the Master Plan of the City including the relocation of the Commercial Seaport, developments on infrastructure and the approval on the policy of preparing the project on developing Da Nang to be a regional financial hub, led by our friend and member Johnathan Hanh Nguyen of IPPG, we can see that not only is the future even brighter for our city, but also that the local authorities are acting quickly to implement these developments for betterment of all the citizens of Da Nang. Congratulations to the People’s Committee and we look forward to a continued strong relationship to help implement all of these fantastic plans!
Advocacy
Baker & McKenzie Partner Chung Seck represented AmCham’s joint VBF & Legal Committee on March 30, 9am to provide a virtual briefing on preliminary AmCham comments to VBF on the Draft Decree on Personal Data.  Preliminary comments were submitted to VBF on March 31. We plan to send a unified AmCham position paper with AmCham Hanoi to MPS prior to April 9. If you are a member and are interested, please contact advocacyaction@amchamvietnam.com to receive a copy of the preliminary comments and provide any suggested edits by noon on Tuesday, April 6.
 
AmCham’s VBF & Legal Committee continues to compile comments from our members on MOF’s Draft New Insurance Business Law.  AmCham’s Capital Markets and Financial Services Committee and Healthcare Committee are also collecting the comments from members. If you have any comments or recommendations, please send to advocacyaction@amchamvietnam.com 
 
AmCham’s Healthcare Committee Medical Device Sector held a virtual meeting on March 31 to review draft comments on the draft decree on capital borrowing, capital mobilization, joint venture, partnership, asset lease, and service provider hiring for public non-business units in the health-population sector. The draft comments will be  coordinated by the Healthcare Committee for further approvals , with the intent to submit to DMEC - MOH before mid-April.  If you have any comments, please send to healthcare@amchamvietnam.com.  
 
AmCham’s Energy Committee is collecting comments to send to the Prime Minister’s Office and MOIT on the draft of new solar electricity Feed-in-Tariff (FiT), in conjunction with VBF Power and Energy Working Group.  If you have any comments, please send to energy@amchamvietnam.com

AmCham’s F&B Committee attended and raised comments on the draft decree regulating the State inspection on quality, food safety of imported goods at a workshop that was organized by General Customs of Vietnam in HCMC on April 1.  The F&B Committee is taking leadership in drafting a position paper on the draft Decree in order to submit to General Customs of Vietnam by mid-April.  If you have any comments and/or recommendations to this draft Decree, please send to food-and-beverages@amchamvietnam.com
 
Regarding any other advocacy matters that require AmCham support, please raise it to the relevant Committee leaders and/or advocacyaction@amchamvietnam.com 
Committee Meetings & Activities (For AmCham Members Only)
Upcoming Events
Venue: The Reverie Saigon, 22-36 Nguyen Hue Boulevard & 57-69F Dong Khoi Street, District 1
Venue: New World Hotel Saigon, 76 Le Lai St., Dist. 1
Venue: InterContinental Saigon, Corner of Hai Ba Trung & Le Duan St., Dist. 1
COVID-19 Update from Healthcare Provider Subcommittee Chair
Dr. Mason Cobb and Andrew Meadows
Politics and vaccine nationalism continues to complicate world-wide vaccine distribution.  Unfortunately, Vietnam is experiencing delivery delays of the Astra Zeneca (AZ) vaccine, originally a pipeline for 60M doses this year. Negotiations continue with Russia, China, and USA vaccine-makers.  PM Phuc has authorized $53.6M USD to speed up purchases.  Negotiations with Pfizer for the Pfizer-BioNTech (PB) vaccine have been ongoing with supply available as soon as an agreement is reached.  Sputnik V is ready.  SinoVac effectiveness is probably less than other candidates, but it is quite cheap and available.  Fortunately, 810,000 doses of AZ arrived this week through the WHO Covax program.  Another 4.176M doses will be delivered in May.  The remainder of the 60M doses promised could arrive as late as Q1 2022.  NanoCovax, the indigenous vaccine, is in clinical trials with Q4 distribution pending.  150M doses would provide herd immunity to the 98,000,000 population, effectively ending the local threat of the pandemic.

Back in the United States, the vaccine campaign is progressing at breakneck speed.  Currently, more than 153M doses have been administered – with 30% of the population having received at least one shot and 17% fully vaccinated.  Many states will have vaccine available to the general population later this month.  People around the world eagerly await a Vaccine Passport/Credential.  PM Phuc is directing study of the best way to implement this in Vietnam, as other nations move in this direction.  Scientifically, the vaccines are extremely effective, so transmission after vaccination appears exceedingly rare.  Travel after vaccination was just greenlighted by USCDC.

Vaccine effectiveness is hugely impressive.  The PB vaccine was 100% effective in a study in adolescents.  The PB and Moderna vaccines use mRNA technology: a "designer drug" customized to create specific antibodies to the virus.  It is likely that this technology gives enhances protection against variants, compared to the older technology of attenuated virus injections.  Effective vaccines are being rolling out and Vietnam is now actively pursuing a supply for domestic vaccinations.  A vaccine passport is around the corner.

World Health Day 
Health is vital -- for all 7.7 billion of us. April 7 is World Health Day, the day in 1948 when WHO was founded. On this day, we can devote our thoughts and prayers to our own health - and that of our planet. This year's theme is "building a fairer and healthier world". 

This is the right topic for these times of pandemic that has taken nearly 3 million lives.  It reminds us to take care of ourselves and our families preventively with good hand-washing, mask-wearing, social distancing, Vitamin D, and living a healthy lifestyle.  Our own self-care is the real key to the bigger picture of beating this pandemic, as well as a healthier world.

Although facing some criticism, WHO has studied and organized world-wide efforts to mitigate and eventually end this pandemic. It has been the connector between 193 nations. We likely would see much more "Vaccine Apartheid" without WHO's own dedication to "a fairer and healthier world".  For more information, please follow this link: 
https://www.who.int/westernpacific/news/multimedia/infographics/health-equity

On this day, let's join WHO and the world in considering the best healthy lifestyles for ourselves and our families, as well as how we can make this a healthier world.
Offers to AmCham Members
AmCham Membership
If you want to become an AmCham member, register here. If you have already renewed for 2021, you should have received your membership card already. If you haven’t, please let us know. If you haven’t yet renewed or settled your payment, please do so soonest so you can keep enjoying the benefits of AmCham membership! 
AmCham’s Member Discount Program supports local businesses that contribute to our quality of life, and also offer benefits to you, our members. For more information on participating businesses, or if you want to become an AmCham Member Discount Partner, click here.
Breaking 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