Japan's Nidec to make robots in Vietnam

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Japan's Nidec Group plans to invest in both research into and manufacture of robots and automobile parts in Vietnam, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Monday.

It quoted the company's chairman, Shigenobu Nagamori, as saying US$1.5-2 billion would be invested by 2015.

Since first coming to Vietnam in 1998 the firm has built nine factories that produce precision motors, automobile gear box parts, and camera parts at a cost of over $800 million.

Nagamori said Nidec's strategy would be the same as the one it adopted in Singapore and Taiwan taking the whole research process to a country or territory instead of just production.

Ho Chi Minh City authorities have designated an area in the Saigon Hi-Tech Park for the group to build an R&D center, he said.

For human resources -- the most important aspect of the project -- Nidec plans to identify outstanding students at Vietnam's top universities and send them to Japan for training before employing them at its research centers and factories here, he said.

It is concerned about what support and incentives the Vietnamese government would offer, he said.

Given that the project requires extensive and careful preparations, it would be hard without government support, he stressed.

Besides its time-consuming licensing procedures, the country's biggest problem is that it has yet to decide in which fields it needs investment, he said.

Vietnam needs to identify which industries to focus on rather than merely try to attract investment, he warned.

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