Friday, August 31, 2007

Vietnam's IT prowess rises with $5 billion factory plan

World's largest electronics manufacturer follows Intel's path into Vietnam

The world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, which assembles gadgets from Apple Inc. iPods to Sony Corp. PlayStation 3 consoles and Nokia Corp. handsets, became the latest company to announce a high tech investment in Vietnam, with plans to spend a massive $5 billion over the next five years.

The investment by Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. will be aimed initially at building a base of electronic components factories near Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, a Hon Hai spokesman said Thursday.

The huge investment shows that Vietnam has continued to increase its allure as a haven for IT investments. Last year Intel Corp. announced it would expand a chip packaging and testing project in Vietnam into a US$1 billion affair, more than triple the size of the original plan. The factory is slated to begin operations in 2009, near Ho Chi Minh City. Earlier this month, Taiwan's Compal Electronics Inc., the world's second largest laptop PC maker, revealed a plan to invest US$30 million in a factory in Vietnam. The company plans to make notebook PCs at the factory, which will be located near Hanoi.