- The Washington Times - Friday, November 10, 2006

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (AP) — Intel Corp., the world’s largest computer chipmaker, announced yesterday it will more than triple its initial investment in Vietnam to $1 billion, dramatically expanding the size of a chip assembly and testing plant that it is building in the country’s southern business hub.

“It will be the model for larger, more efficient assembly and test facilities that will gain Intel greater efficiency and improve our ability to meet our customers’ requirement, making Intel even more competitive,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel’s vice president and general manager for assembly and test manufacturing.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and U.S. Ambassador Michael Marine attended the announcement ceremony.

The company plans to expand the size of the facility from 150,000 square feet to 500,000 square feet, Mr. Krzanich said.

Construction is expected to begin in March. It will be Vietnam’s first semiconductor facility, and Intel’s sixth testing facility in Asia.

Mr. Krzanich said production is expected to begin in the second half of 2009 and Intel plans to eventually employ up to 4,000 people. The Santa Clara, Calif., company had talked of 1,200 jobs when it announced a $300 million investment in February.

The plant will be at Ho Chi Minh City’s Hi-Tech Park, just outside the sprawling metropolis.

Vietnam is expecting the plant to stimulate the country’s fledgling high-tech industry and serve as a magnet for further investment.

Yesterday’s announcement comes the same week that the World Trade Organization accepted Vietnam as a member and a week before Hanoi hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, which will draw leaders from 21 Pacific Rim economies, including President Bush. APEC also will draw hundreds of corporate leaders from around the world for a summit of chief executive officers.

In 2005, computer and electronic equipment exports from Vietnam rose 34 percent to $1.44 billion, while imports of computers and electronics rose 26.3 percent to $1.7 billion.

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