Communist-run Vietnam gave Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, a license to triple its investment there to $1 billion, a week before President Bush is due to visit. In February the California-based firm announced it would put $300 million in Vietnam to package and test microchips that power computers and mobile phones, the biggest investment in the country by a U.S. company. Pham Chanh Truc, chairman of the Saigon High-Tech Park management board, handed the license to Rick Howarth, general manager of Intel Products Vietnam, on Friday at a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's commercial center.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said at the ceremony that Vietnam, which on Tuesday got formal approval to become a World Trade Organization member by the year's end, "will make favorable conditions for the investment and business environment." Intel will expand its assembly and test facility area now under construction in the Saigon High-Tech Park to 500,000 square feet from 150,000 square feet, making it the largest single factory within the firm's assembly and test network. Production following the increased investment will begin in 2009, instead of the second half of 2007 as previously planned.
Vietnam's economy is the world's fastest growing after China. Hanoi will host the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting from November 12 to 19. President Bush is scheduled to visit Ho Chi Minh City, more widely known as Saigon, after attending the APEC summit. via ZDNet News.
Sidenote: I think it's great that a big company like Intel is investing in somewhere like Vietnam. It really shows how much technology, and the world as a whole is moving forward. Intel have always been, and will remain one of the most successful companies in the technology sector, because they are the leaders of advances like this. We owe it all too them. Also, for those of you who don't know (Seshi, being the fan she is, will!), Ho Minh Chi City is the place in the first Artemis Fowl book, where Artemis tracks down a sprite, for the very first time. Just an interesting fact, worth a mention.