Search

 

Cablegate: Conoff Visits Mekong Delta in Support of U.S. Business and Unique July 4 Celebration

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


2001HOCHI00755 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ3383

PAGE 01 HO CHI 00755 01 OF 02 210331Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00 COME-00
CTME-00 DODE-00 ITCE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00
EXME-00 E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 FRB-00
H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 ITC-01 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00
AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OES-01 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00
PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00
TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /010W
------------------FB8F85 210331Z /38
FM AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5206
INFO AMEMBASSY HANOI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HO CHI MINH CITY 000755

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/BCLTV

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD PGOV VM
SUBJECT: CONOFF VISITS MEKONG DELTA IN SUPPORT OF U.S. BUSINESS AND UNIQUE JULY 4 CELEBRATION

---------
SUMMARY
---------

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HO CHI 00755 01 OF 02 210331Z
1. A CONSULAR OFFICER VISITED CAN THO JUNE 8-9 AS A
REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CONSULATE GENERAL AT THE OPENING
OF THE AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL ASSURANCE OFFICE. CONOFF
ALSO RECEIVED A FORMAL PROPOSAL BY THE UNION OF
FRIENDSHIP ORGANIZATIONS TO HOST THE FIRST JULY 4TH
CELEBRATION SINCE 1975 IN THE PROVINCE, WHICH WILL
INCLUDE PARTICIPATION BY THE CONSUL GENERAL. IN
ADDITION, CONOFF FOLLOWED UP ON A SUCCESSFUL EFFORT BY
THE CONGEN TO HELP SHUT DOWN A LOCAL RESTAURANT
ILLEGALLY USING THE MCDONALD'S FRANCHISE LOGO.

-----------------------------
LIFE INSURANCE FOR THE MASSES
-----------------------------

2. FESTIVITIES IN CAN THO ON FRIDAY MARKED THE OPENING
OF AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL ASSURANCE (AIA) VIETNAM'S
FOURTH OFFICE, FOLLOWING ON THE HEELS OF SUCCESSFUL
VENTURES IN HO CHI MINH CITY, HA NOI AND MOST RECENTLY,
DA NANG. AIA, A SUBSIDIARY OF AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL
GROUP (AIG) INSURANCE, HAS A LICENSE TO SELL LIFE
INSURANCE IN VIETNAM AND IS ATTEMPTING TO GET A LARGER
SHARE OF A RAPIDLY GROWING MARKET.
AIA IS COMPETING WITH OTHER INDUSTRY GIANTS SUCH AS
PRUDENTIAL AND CHINFON MANULIFE, AS WELL AS A FEW LOCAL
OPERATORS. THE NEW OFFICE IN CAN THO IS COMPRISED OF
APPROXIMATELY 250 SALES AGENTS, A NUMBER EXPECTED TO
REACH 900 WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR.

3. IN ADDITION TO LIFE INSURANCE, AIA HAS BEEN ACTIVE
IN VIETNAM'S RECENT MOTORBIKE SAFETY MOVEMENTS. IT WAS
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HO CHI 00755 01 OF 02 210331Z
ONE OF THE PRIMARY ORGANIZERS OF THE HELMETS FOR KIDS
CAMPAIGN FOR MOTORBIKE SAFETY LAST YEAR, PROVIDING OVER
100,000 HELMETS TO CHILDREN IN SELECTED VIETNAMESE
SCHOOLS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. AIA, THROUGH CHARITABLE
FUNDS OF ITS PARENT COMPANY, AIG, IS PLANNING TO OPEN
THE COUNTRY'S FIRST VIETNAMESE-OWNED AND OPERATED
HELMET FACTORY. AIA IS ONLY THE SECOND US-OWNED
COMPANY IN CAN THO, ACCORDING TO THE CAN THO OFFICE OF
PLANNING AND INVESTMENT; THE FIRST WAS A WASTE
TREATMENT COMPANY.

--------------------------------------------- -----
THE UNION OF FRIENDSHIP ORGANIZATIONS, CAN THO PROVINCE
--------------------------------------------- -----

4. CONOFF MET JUNE 9 WITH NGUYEN THI CAM HONG,
PRESIDENT OF THE CAN THO UNION OF FRIENDSHIP
ORGANIZATIONS. THE UNION, A REGIONAL SUBSET OF THE
NATIONAL UNION OF FRIENDSHIP ORGANIZATIONS, WAS FOUNDED
IN THE EARLY 1990'S WITH A TWOFOLD PURPOSE: TO EXPOSE
THE PEOPLE OF CAN THO TO FOREIGN CULTURES IN ORDER TO
IMPROVE UNDERSTANDING, AND TO ATTRACT FOREIGN NGOS TO
THE PROVINCE TO DO WORK IN THE AREAS OF HEALTH,
EDUCATION AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT. THERE ARE CURRENTLY
SCORES OF SUCH NGOS WORKING IN CAN THO PROVINCE. THEY
WORK WITH AND THROUGH THE GOVERNMENT AND,
INTERESTINGLY, RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS.

5. THE US-VIETNAM FRIENDSHIP ORGANIZATION OF CAN THO
(US-VNFO), ONE OF FIFTEEN COUNTRY-SPECIFIC GROUPS UNDER
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HO CHI 00755 01 OF 02 210331Z
THE UMBRELLA OF THE CAN THO UNION OF FRIENDSHIP
ORGANIZATIONS, WILL HOST A FOURTH OF JULY PARTY TO
COMMEMORATE AMERICA'S INDEPENDENCE DAY. PARTICIPATING
IN THE CELEBRATION WILL BE THE CONSUL GENERAL AND THE
PRESIDENT OF THE US-VNFO.

---------------------------------
CONGEN PROTECTS THE GOLDEN ARCHES
---------------------------------

6. AN ARTICLE IN THE MAY 12, 2001 SAIGON TIMES WEEKLY
WHICH TOLD OF A NEW KOREAN FAST FOOD RESTAURANT IN CAN
THO PROVINCE, RAN A PHOTO OF THE ESTABLISHMENT,
COMPLETE WITH A "MCDONALD'S" SIGN AND THE FAMOUS GOLDEN
ARCHES. CONSUL GENERAL PASSED THE ARTICLE TO THE
AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN HO CHI MINH CITY, TO BE
PASSED TO THE LAW FIRM THAT ACTS AS LOCAL
REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE MCDONALD'S CORPORATION. AMCHAM
WAS UNAWARE OF THIS TRADEMARK VIOLATION.

7. CONOFF VISITED THE RESTAURANT FORMERLY KNOWN AND
ADVERTISED AS MCDONALD'S IN THE HEART OF CAN THO. THE
SIGNS NO LONGER READ MCDONALD'S, THOUGH A LARGE PICTURE
OF A BURGER AND FRIES IS STILL OUTSIDE WITH THE GOLD
"M" EMBLEMS ERASED OFF THE PACKAGING. AMERICAN TALK
RADIO WAS BLASTING IN THE ENTRY, AND INSIDE A LARGE
GROUP OF CUSTOMERS WERE WATCHING AN AMERICAN WESTERN
DUBBED INTO VIETNAMESE AND SUBTITLED IN CHINESE. UPON
ENTERING THE RESTAURANT, A VIETNAMESE MAN SPEAKING
PERFECT - THOUGH HEAVILY ACCENTED - ENGLISH CAME FLYING
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HO CHI 00755 02 OF 02 210331Z
OUT OF HIS CHAIR TO SEE WHAT CONOFF WANTED. HE QUICKLY
INFORMED US THAT THE RESTAURANT WAS UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP
AS OF 9 DAYS PRIOR, THE FORMER KOREAN OWNERS HAD LEFT,
AND THE NAME HAD CHANGED. IT SEEMS THAT THE PREVIOUS
OWNERS HAD SOME FEARS OF LITIGATION FROM THE MCDONALD'S
CORPORATION, AS THEY HAD NEVER GOTTEN PERMISSION TO USE
THE TRADEMARK NAME.

RAY

UNCLASSIFIED

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Myanmar: Military Must Stop Murdering And Jailing Protestors – Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday said security forces in Myanmar must “halt their vicious crackdown on peaceful protestors,” following another day of deadly violence across the country on Wednesday... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>