Last Tuesday, 10 November 2013, the Hanoi and HCMC Boards met jointly via video conference facilities. Special thanks to Austrade for giving AusCham access to their offices in Hanoi and HCMC.

Below is a summary of the major topics.

The proposed new National Board

As previously advised, Members from the Hanoi and HCMC chapters will be asked at the next Annual General Meeting on 25 March to vote on a proposal to merge the two city boards into one National Board. It was noted that in the market, there was an element of confusion about the benefits and that some members were concerned about a perceived loss of autonomy in each of the two cities. Accordingly, it was decided that the two boards, together with the National Chairman, should write to their respective members detailing the main benefits:

  • Local needs will still be addressed. Hanoi will have a total of 6 (including two ex officios from the Embassy/ Consulate) directors on the Board while HCMC will have 9 (including one ex officio from Austrade). Each city will therefore have a strong voice and can still appoint members to a special local committee if the city feels that is important.
  • Nationally, it networks members across the country more effectively. HCMC can tap into the political hub in Hanoi while Hanoi can tap into the commercial hub of HCMC. The National structure also makes it easier for third parties to approach and engage with “AusCham Vietnam” rather than having to worry about individual cities.
  • Regionally, it allows us to tap into organisations like Australian Business Asia which comprises 16 Australian Business Chambers across Asia. It gives us greater access and reciprocal rights (conditions apply) which is good news for our members who do business around Asia.

Voting for
candidates

Options for the voting procedure is still to be confirmed. The secretariat will forward several options to the Hanoi and HCMC Boards to consider.

Hanoi to
get full time staff member

AusCham is committed to improving the level of service provided to Hanoi members. Advertisements will appear from 27 December seeking applications for a full time position in Hanoi to service the members and support the Board members in Hanoi. It is expected that the successful applicant will start in late February.

Sponsorship
update

During the week, Commonwealth Bank, Platinum Global and EY Vietnam all confirmed that they woulrenew their Bronze Level Sponsorship in 2014.

Membership update

Victoria Hotels & Resorts, as well as the new Pullman Hotel in Saigon, are offering some great Lucky Draw prizes for those who sign up for a 2014 Membership. Every 2014 member, including nominees, will get a free entry. Further, if a 2014 member recruits a ‘new’ (not 2013) member, the 2014 member will be given another entry into the Lucky Draw.

Just one more benefit for being an AusCham Member!

For Membership Enquiries, please email office@auschamvn.org

Activity in Hanoi and HCMC during the holiday month of January

In HCMC, a luncheon will be held on Australia Day, 26 January (venue tbc). The topic is “The Business Behind Australia’s Signature Sport, AFL. Taking aerial ping pong to rugby’s heartland and making money”. The speaker is Tony Morwood, a senior Business Executive with the Sydney Swans AFL Club. he will talk about the strategy behind successfully selling a product in a hostile market and the culture behind two cities; one club. This is a reference to the South Melbourne club being relocated to Sydney and becoming the Sydney Swans. The club has successfully grown its market base in Sydney while retaining its Melbourne supporters. Some interesting parallels there with one AusCham and twocities.

At this stage,
nothing is planned for January in Hanoi. However, Phil Johns, Executive Director
will be in Hanoi all of next week meeting as many members as possible to get
their feedback on AusCham and ideas going forward. If you haven’t already
confirmed a time, then please email him at execdirector@auschamvn.org to make
an appointment.

Advocacy

AusCham attended
the Vietnam Business Forum on 3 December in Hanoi. Presentations were delivered
by AusCham Chairman, Tareq Muhmood as head of the Banking Working Group and
AusCham’s Vice Chair in HCMC, Brian O’Reilly, Head of the Education and Training
Working Group. Attendees included the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of
Planning and Investment, the Head of the World Bank Vietnam and the Head of the
IFC Vietnam. For further information, including the Annual VBF Full Report for
2013, click here.

AusCham also continues to be involved with the Anti Bribery and Corruption Dialogue which is promoting collective action.

Australian
Alumni Conference in Hanoi: 14-15 Dec

40,000 Vietnamese have studied in Australia and there will be a major conference in Hanoi this weekend, 14-15 December. For further information on the Australian Alumni National Conference, click here.

The Next Meeting

The next joint
Board Meeting will be held on 14 January, 2014.

Do you have
any comments or suggestions?

Please send me an email.

Regards

Phil
Johns

National Executive
Director