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Technical Assistance Update
January 2002


ê      Reception and Dinner in Honor of Ambassador Raymond F. Burghardt
The U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council was pleased to host a reception in honor of Ambassador Raymond F. Burghardt on Monday, January 21, followed by a small dinner for Trade Council members on Wednesday, January 23.  Many thanks to our friends and members who attended.  On behalf of the Trade Council, we congratulate Ambassador Burghardt on his new post and welcome him and Mrs. Burghardt to Vietnam .

ê      New Funding for Technical Assistance and Legal Curriculum on International Trade Norms
Under a new grant from Atlantic Philanthropies, the U.S.-Vietnam Forum looks forward to  expanding our technical assistance program and working with Vietnam in the establishment of a legal curriculum on WTO and international trade norms.   We hope that technical assistance provided under this program will serve to enhance capacity building as
Vietnam looks towards accession into the WTO. 

ê      Ambassador Peterson, Joe Damond & Bob Schiffer Visit Vietnam
The U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council was pleased to welcome back to Hanoi our new Chairman of the Board, Former U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Pete Peterson. We also welcomed Joseph Damond -- chief U.S. negotiator of the bilateral trade agreement, now Associate Vice President for Japan and Asia Pacific for PHRMA, and Former Senior Advisor to the Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi , Robert Schiffer. 

ê      Ministry of Finance – Delegation to the U.S.
Pursuant to a grant from U.S. AID, the Forum organized a study mission of six Ministry of Finance officials to the
United States from January 26 – February 7, 2002 . The mission focused financial sector commitments in the BTA and looked specifically at the legal and regulatory aspects in auditing & accounting services, tariffs, taxation policy & tax advisory services, and insurance. The Forum organized a program that involved consultations and workshops with relevant U.S. government agencies, non-governmental organizations, private sector companies, trade associations, and state and local regulatory bodies.  Special thanks in particular to AIG, ACE, New York Life, KPMG, Ernst & Young, Citigroup, and Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy for hosting the delegation during this important study mission.   

ê  Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA) Delegation to the U.S.
The Forum, pursuant to a grant provided by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will host Vice Minister Nguyen Luong Trao and a delegation of officials from MOLISA and the National Assembly on a visit to the United States to continue the labor dialogue between our two countries. While in the U.S. , the delegation will meet with U.S. Government agencies, Congressional offices, Non-Government Organizations, labor unions, including the AFL-CIO, and companies.  A more formal labor dialogue with U.S. Department of Labor is scheduled for Monday, March 4.

 

ê   BTA Summary
The Forum has completed the translation of the Summary of the U.S.-Vietnam Trade Agreement written by PGFM with the aim of helping to facilitate the use and understanding of the agreement.  In cooperation with the Ministry of Trade, we look forward to publishing this 30-page summary in Vietnamese in addition to the English version.  This document is currently available through our offices in Hanoi , Ho Chi Minh City and Washington . A list of   “Key provisions” will also be made available soon.

ê     U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council Website: http://old.usvtc.org
The U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council website is updated on a daily basis providing a wide variety of up to date information on U.S. Vietnam political and economic issues, and with information and links useful to both Americans and Vietnamese companies, officials, researchers and experts.

ê     Catalog of Legal Updates
We have continued to regularly issue our Catalog of Legal Updates keeping track of legal instruments promulgated by Vietnam that seek to address specific area provisions of the BTA since the agreement was signed.  The latest issue ( January 31, 2002 ) is now available on our website or through our offices. 

ê     Washington Times Supplement
On January 29, the Washington Times issued an eight page color supplement on Vietnam focusing on the new business era entered since the entry into force of the BTA on December 10, 2001 .  The Trade Council worked extensively with the authors and is prominently featured, as are many of our members. The supplement is available through our website or offices.