HO CHI MINH CITY: The U.S. chip maker Intel said Friday that it would invest $1 billion in Vietnam, more than tripling its original plan, and employ 4,000 people in what would be its largest assembly and test facility in the world.
The announcement by the company, the top maker of semiconductors in the world, comes a week before President George W. Bush and other leaders arrive in Hanoi for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum’s summit meeting and as Vietnam prepares to join the World Trade Organization.
Intel first announced in February that it would build the plant in the Saigon Hi-Tech Park near Ho Chi Minh City to assemble, test and ship microprocessors used in personal computers and other electronic devices.
On Friday, the company received permission to increase the size of the plant to 46,000 square meters, or 500,000 square feet, from 14,000 square meters. It said construction would start next year, with production to begin by 2009. Hanoi also approved increasing the project license, to $1 billion from $300 million.
“The new Vietnam facility will be Intel’s first of this size and the largest single facility within the Intel assembly and test network,” Intel said. It has similar facilities in China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Costa Rica.
It is to be the largest investment so far by a U.S. company in Vietnam, providing a boost for Vietnam’s hopes of shifting its economy from exports like garments and rice toward the high-technology and information technology sectors.
Fuente: International Herald Tribune