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Intel says Vietnam plant on track   2009-03-03 - TN

Intel Corp. will complete its US$1-billion factory in Ho Chi Minh City on time despite rumors the economic slump might prompt the company to call off the project, the company’s country manager said Friday.


“There’s no delay at all,” Intel Vietnam Country Manager Than Trong Phuc told the “Future Technology of Vietnam” seminar in Ho Chi Minh City.

The assembly test facility will be completed by the end of this year and ready for production next year, Phuc said.

Intel announced early last month a reorganization of its China operations that would close a Shanghai plant and eliminate 2,000 jobs there.

In January, the world's largest chipmaker said it would close plants in Malaysia, the Philippines and the US, following an unexpectedly severe slump in chip demand. Between 5,000 and 6,000 employees would be affected by the closures, according to a report on the Intel website.

Phuc said those were “older” units and the decision to close them “was implemented faster [than previously planned] because of the economic downturn.”

Phuc said the plant in HCMC’s District 9 would employ 4,000 workers.

“In the future, Vietnam will be one of the world’s assembly test hubs,” he said.

While the country’s economic growth is forecast to tumble this year, Phuc said he believed the government’s stimulus measures, including a five-month income tax break and loan rate subsidies, could drive up computer sales.

Some 1.8 million personal computers were sold in Vietnam last year and this year’s figure is expected to reach about 2 million, according to the Vietnam Computer Association.

About 10 percent of Vietnamese households own personal computers but the percentage reaches over 50 percent in major cities, Phuc said.

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