The Washington, DC Doorknock to promote approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) in December has been canceled.  The Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers (APCAC) is working to recalibrate our strategy.

 

Our next opportunity for APCAC member chambers to gather is at the annual APCAC Spring Summit. Please mark your calendars for April 19 to 22, 2017 in Guangzhou, China.  This will be our next chance for chambers to work together to refine our messages on engagement with Asia, tax reform, FATCA, and other priority themes.  We will post the program and registration information as it becomes available.

Nov 4 Letter to Congress - TPP

25 American Chambers of Commerce in the Asia-Pacific have sent a letter to the leadership of the US Congress.  The letter is an unprecedented display of unity and urgency from APCAC members whose collective membership represents more than 15,000 companies, 50,000 overseas American workers, and annual trade/investment volumes over $600 billion.

 

Please read the letter here.

 

On behalf of its members and the American business community in Singapore, AmCham Singapore has sent a letter to members of Congress urging approval of the TPP.  Having the potential to strengthen our nation’s commercial, strategic, and geopolitical ties across one of the fastest growing parts of the world, the TPP will boost economic growth and job creation in the U.S. and in the other TPP nations. It will expand global trade on a level playing field for businesses and workers. AmCham Singapore stresses the importance of seizing this window of opportunity to pass TPP and send a message to the region and to the world that the U.S. is not going to sit on the sidelines. We’re going to be in on the action.

Read letter here.

AmCham Washington Doorknock

December 4-7, 2016

Making the case for the TPP in Washington D.C.

washington doorknock

WHEN
5.00 pm
Sunday, December 4, 2016 – Wednesday, December 7,  2016WHERE
Washington, DC

 

Join AmChams in Washington, DC to push for TPP ratification this year!

APCAC – the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce — is organizing a select delegation of business leaders to visit Washington, DC. to lobby key Members of Congress for urgent passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during their “Lame Duck” session after the election.  In our judgment, this is the last chance to save TPP.

We need credible voices from the front lines of business across the region to explain why it really is “now or never” for the TPP.

This special APCAC Washington Doorknock gives AmCham representatives from across the Asia-Pacific the chance to make the case for TPP ratification by the US Congress one last time. If your company wants to see this crucial free trade framework passed in 2016, join us in Washington as we meet with legislators whose support is critical for US approval of the TPP.

 

For more information and to sign up, please contact Head of Government and Public Affairs Dustin Watson at dwatson@amcham.org.sg today.  AmCham will cover the registration fees for the first four corporate members who register — first come-first served, one per company!

Global Entry 400x

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler applicants now have an opportunity to schedule/reschedule for an interview appointment at the upcoming CBP Trusted Traveler Enrollment event in Singapore. To register for this event, log on to your Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) account and schedule your appointment online.

 

Select the interview location: “Singapore International Chamber of Commerce

 

The event is open to ALL eligible CBP Trusted Traveler applicants conditionally approved for the Global Entry Program or/and the APEC Business Travel Card.

 

Date: 2016 October 31 – November 4 (Mon-Fri)*

Time: From 8.30 am to 4.30 pm

Venue: Singapore International Chamber of Commerce 6 Raffles Quay #10-01, Singapore 048580

 

*Please note: Applicants are to contact the Singapore, US Embassy CBP at email: globalentrysingapore@state.gov for inquiries on appointments and other information.

 

Note that anyone who has a scheduled appointment at the Embassy after the event (the regular Wednesday appointment slots are booked through early 2018) may reschedule using their GOES online account for the October 31 – November 4 event dates at SICC, while slots are available.  Why wait until next year if you’ve already paid the $100?

 

Also, Americans can sign up for the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority’s enhanced-Immigration Automated Clearance System (“e-gates”) at Changi Airport now.  Most Americans living here already get it through their employment pass, but Americans who travel here from the US can now sign up when they are in Singapore using the ICA website.  Please share this information with colleagues who travel frequently to Singapore.

 

Sustainability Header

The strength of the business case for sustainability is undeniable and rising.  So why don’t more companies embrace sustainability as a core principle?

Could it be because lots of people aren’t familiar with the opportunities in their own sector, or incorrectly think of green washing when they hear the word “sustainability”?   As they examined the business case for sustainability, our August 25 AmCham panel highlighted the many dimensions of sustainability – yes, it is about sound environmental stewardship, but it is also about investing in employee development and welfare and grasping the big opportunities that are developing because of pressing global needs.

Every company operates across at least some measures of sustainability in order to survive in today’s hyper-competitive world.  Our panel also explored how to encourage boards and c-suites to look beyond the next quarter.  Ideas included introducing management and governance benchmarks to identify and take advantage of existing opportunities, strategically aligning business goals with investments in sustainability and climate change adaptation, and recognizing that in a changing world sustainability will increasingly be a key issue for business in terms of commercial potential and social expectations.

AmCham thanks the members of our inaugural sustainability panel — Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer, City Developments Ltd; Matt Harris, President and CEO, AIG Asia Pacific; Paul Kent, Director for Economics and Regulation, KPMG; Zach Wilson, Managing Director, Singapore, Alfa Tech VestAsia Pte Ltd; and William Clune, Sustainable Earth Office Policy Director, Nanyang Technological University.

 

We look forward to welcoming our members at future sustainability discussions.

During his State Visit to the US, Singapore Prime Minister Lee said the following:

 

“Singapore fervently hopes that the U.S. will stay engaged and maintain its indispensable role in the Asia-Pacific. In particular, we hope, and I’m sure the president shares this hope, that Congress will ratify the TPP soon.”

 

AmCham Singapore agrees completely. The TPP is not only economically in the US interest, it keeps the US front-and-center as an “indispensable” nation in the Asia Pacific.

 

In an opinion editorial in the August 24th Straits Times, AmCham Singapore TPP Task Force Chairman Steven Okun, and Task Force member and President of the Asia Trade Center Deborah Elms discuss the economic and strategic imperative of having the US Congress pass this TPP in this session and having President Obama sign in into law.

 

If this does not happen, those in the region believe it will be years before the US will be prepared to engage with credibility on crafting an amended agreement. As such, the TPP members will look to other agreements in which to advance their economic interests – at the expense of the US’ strategic and economic interest.

 

Who will step in with the US absence? Three candidates are China, the European Union (EU), and Australia, all of which compete directly with the US in the region.  US exporters are keenly aware of the advantages lost to their competition if the US does not move ahead.

 

From a multilateral perspective, the remaining TPP members will look to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as the next step. This agreement lacks much of what makes the TPP so special – chapters that address 21st century doing business issues. RCEP is missing the US, but does include China, Indonesia, Japan and nearly every other key US trading partner in Asia.

 

The stakes in ratifying TPP are not just for US businesses and workers to gain the benefits of TPP itself, but also for the United States’ ability to remain competitive and advance our interests in the region. Those of us who live and work in the region know this first-hand.

 

AmCham Singapore urges the US Congress must pass the TPP in this session.

 

Click here for a link to the AmCham Position Paper.

 

Click here for a link to the Op-Ed in the Straits Times.

With the Board’s selection of the South East Community Development Council (SE CDC) as our charity partner for 2016, AmCham has launched an exciting program of CSR activities in this area that is home to many AmCham member companies.

 

The AmCham Career Kickstarter program got off to a great start on July 27.  This program aims to help high school students understand the diversity of their future career opportunities, the many paths to success, the importance of remaining open to new experiences, and the value of openness to risk and error.  Young executives from Citi, Coca-Cola, and P&G enthralled an audience of 50 Temasek Secondary School students with lively interactive presentations and an equally lively question and answer session.

 

Career kickstarter collage

 

As part of our 14th Corporate Community Day on October 22, AmCham and SE CDC will co-host a Walk for Rice.  Guests of honor Minister for Social and Family Development, Tan Chuan-Jin and U.S. Ambassador Kirk Wagar will wave the starting flags at ITE College East, 10 Simei Avenue, Singapore 486047.  AmCham and NTUC will donate a bowl of rice to a needy family for every 100 meters each participant walks.  Please keep an eye out for the email inviting AmCham members to register along with your families, friends, and colleagues.  Let’s earn as many bowls of rice as we can!

 

Capture

 

Emergenetics photo 4 Emergenetics photo 3

Emergenetics photo 2 Emergenetics photo 5

 

On the afternoon of Thursday, August 4, AmCham’s summer interns had a profile-review session with Emergenetics consultant, Amos Lim. Amos explained the Emergenetics’ goal “to maximize human potential” and how the Emergenetics Profile articulates each individual’s Thinking and Behavioral Preferences. Thinking preferences include analytical, conceptual, structural, and social, while behavioral preferences include expressiveness, assertiveness, and flexibility.

 

The Emergenetics Profile helps individuals understand the way she/he prefers to behave, think, and interact with others. Understanding individual employees helps identify the group dynamic as a whole in an organization. Profile results from Emergenetics help to increase employee engagement, promote effective leadership, and understand high performing teams.

 

The intern group participated in several group activities to assess how each thinking preference or behavioral preference plays into their daily decisions and interactions with others. Through these group activities and profile-reviews at the end of the session, each intern understood their preferences as well as others and the group dynamics.

 

Here are testimonials from interns:

“I found the Emergenetics session to be highly informative and useful. Mr. Lim did an excellent job of guiding us through our profiles and results, and in the process helped me acquire new perspectives and views on various aspects of my own character and actions. I think Emergenetics has a unique and highly versatile system, which measures different characteristics in surprisingly straightforward and effective measures. I have definitely noticed how the results were instantly applicable to my day-to-day behavior, and have found it especially useful when rediscovering how my profile helps me work to my strengths and find the best group dynamic possible.”    – Harry Chiang

 

“The Emergenetics Profile review session was fascinating and unlike any other psychometric test I’ve taken in the past. Amos did a great job in ensuring that we understood the background of the Emergenetics Profile and recognized both advantages and challenges of our preferences. I walked in to the session having a preconceived idea of what the session was going to be like, and walked out pleasantly surprised by my experience. The profile review session also helped me understand my peers better and demonstrated ways in which I can improve communication with them. I’m glad AmCham Singapore and Emergenetics International – Asia Pacific facilitated this session for the interns.”    – Ashwini Srinivas

 

“The Emergenetics session provided a new perspective on the dynamics of teamwork and how team members can effectively tackle various aspects of a task.”   – Lewis Lau

 

Drs. Geil Browning and Wendell Williams developed the Emergenetics Profile in 1991. The Emergenetics Profile follows a psychometric questionnaire, which helps identify individuals’ thinking and behavioral preferences – information which can be used to help individuals and teams be more effective and productive. The Emergenetics model is developed through research and based on latest brain science theories. Emergenetics suggests that people do not focus on changing their profile, but rather discover ways to work with their preferred ways of processing information and develop strategies to work with different people.

 

Emergenetics photo 1

 

Each of the seven interns learned a lot and enjoyed the experience. If you or your company is interested, feel free to contact Emergenetics directly at +65 6225 6630 or email at info.asia@emergenetics.com. To learn more about Emergenetics, visit their website at www.emergenetics.com/apac.

 

 

Emergenetics International

asean chairmanship

As ASEAN Chair this year, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) is receiving renewed interest and attention. Setting the theme “Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community,” the Lao leadership is now under pressure to lead and implement the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 as ASEAN begins a new chapter after the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015. Despite many challenges, leaders have welcomed and supported the Lao chairmanship. Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo has expressed confidence that “ASEAN will develop better cooperation and succeed in realizing ASEAN’s mission under Laos chairmanship,” while the U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN Nina Hachigian has reinforced U.S. support for the Lao chairmanship.

 

Laos will play an integral role in representing ASEAN interests and enhancing further cooperation between ASEAN and its partners as ASEAN continues to be an attractive region for business expansion. In AmCham’s 2016 ASEAN Business Outlook Survey, 77% of respondents from Laos mentioned that ASEAN integration will be important for them to do business in the region.  This is anticipated to help boost Laos’ strong economic performance over the past decade and Laos expects a GDP growth rate in excess of 7% annually. Additionally, close to half of survey respondents (46%) have indicated plans to expand within Laos, while the same proportion of respondents also expect their workforce to expand in 2015.

 

As the chair this year, Laos has laid out eight priorities for its term, including trade facilitation, narrowing the development gap, enhancing connectivity, fostering greater regional cooperation, and transitioning to a formal economy. These priorities will strengthen the current government’s initiatives while creating a more positive business environment in Laos. This will be especially important as the expansion of the rule of law still remains a key issue for many businesses; more than 80% of respondents indicate that the lack of efficient and fair enforcement of the law is a major hindrance for business operations in Laos. Yet, businesses are optimistic that this will improve in the future. 69% of respondents have expressed confidence that the US$3.9 million grant received in 2014 from foreign donors including United States, United Nations, France, and the European Union to expand the rule of law will likely improve the business environment. This in turn will help to build foreign investors’ confidence in Laos.

 

This year will be an opportunity for Laos to lead and maintain the momentum in moving ASEAN forward this year despite being the smallest economy in ASEAN. Companies continue to be attracted by the strong growth prospects in this region with most ASEAN respondents (86%) expecting their company’s level of trade and investment to increase over the next five years. Backed by the ASEAN Chairmanship, this could position Laos as an increasingly attractive destination for foreign investors.

 

The next edition of the report, the 2017 ASEAN Business Outlook Survey, will be released in Laos during the United States-ASEAN dialogue at the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in early August.

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AMCHAM UPDATES

This blog features event recaps, updates on the latest happenings at AmCham, and commentaries from the AmCham staff