Foxconn has just been granted a licence to build a US$270 million plant in northern Vietnam to manufacture MacBook laptops and iPad tablets as the Apple supplier seeks to move some of its assembly lines to the country from China amid Sino-US trade tensions.
Foxconn Singapore received the licence on January 18 to construct the Fukang Technology plant at the Quang Chau Industrial Park in Bac Giang province next to Hanoi. The project is designed to produce eight million laptops and tablets annually.
Last November, Apple urged Foxconn to move some of its iPad and MacBook assembly lines to Vietnam as the US technology giant sought to diversify its supply chain.
The Taiwanese company started to invest in Vietnam in 2007, building two plants in Bac Giang and Bac Ninh province. It has so far invested US$1.5 billion in the country and is employing more than 35,000 workers. Last November saw the group launch the first products made at its factory in the northern province of Quang Ninh – LED monitors for export.
One of Apple’s largest manufacturing partners, Foxconn has plans to raise its investment in Vietnam by a further US$700 million and hire about 10,000 more workers this year.
The newly-licensed plant was among the four projects with combined capital of almost US$570 million that were awarded investment certificates on January 18 in Bac Giang province.
In addition to Foxconn, Singapore-based Risesun Investment received approval to invest US$75 million in a plant for plastic and composite products and build a US$6 million facility for making decorative films. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Ja Solar Investment will spend US$210 million developing a factory to manufacture solar panels for renewable energy.
Shortly before receiving its latest licence, Foxconn sent a delegation to Thanh Hoa to consider investing up to US$1.3 billion in facilities in the northern province, about 160 kilometres south of Hanoi. It wanted about 150 hectares of land for the plants, which would generate an export value of as much as US$10 billion annually adding that provincial authorities would provide full support if the company pushed through with the investment.