Samsung licensed to build $1.2 bil hi-tech plant in northern Vietnam

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The northern province of Thai Nguyen has licensed South Korea's Samsung Electronics to build a second factory at its US$3.2-billion high-technology complex at the Yen Binh Industrial Zone, VnExpress has reported.

The $1.2-billion plant, licensed October 2, will assemble microprocessors and integrated circuits. The province offered Samsung Electronics Vietnam (SEV) a 50 percent subsidy on infrastructure rentals at the plant.

Construction work on the first plant, which will manufacture cell phones and tablets, started in March. The plant will receive tax exemptions for the first four years of operation and a 50 percent break for the next 12 years.

Vietnam now imposes a 25 percent corporate tax on businesses, and the tariff will decrease to 22 from next year.

While there is no available information about when the second factory will be completed, the first is set to finish and go into operation in next year's first quarter to provide from 7,000 to 10,000 jobs, an unidentified representative of Hansol Vietnam, a spare part producer for SEV, said.

SEV also has a $2.5-billion plant manufacturing laptops and other electronic devices in Bac Ninh Province. This is the electronics giant's second largest handset plant in the world after Kumi in South Korea.

Foreign Investment Agency data as of last month showed that Thai Nguyen had attracted the second-largest foreign direct investment of all provinces and cities in the country, at $2.158 billion, preceded by Thanh Hoa with $2.92 billion.

With SEV's latest commitment, the total pledge in Thai Nguyen has in fact exceeded that of Thanh Hoa although there is no official data available. Thai Nguyen did not make it to the top ten FDI locales  last year.

SEV has registered a total of $5.7 billion in Vietnam investments.  Last year it made up 11 percent the country's exports with $12.6 billion.

In a recent visit to Vietnam, Jung Yeon Joo, deputy chairman of South Korean conglomerate Samsung C&T, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Planning and Investment on developing Vietnam's infrastructure.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung encouraged Samsung C&T to further expand operations in the country and promised to give the multinational firm big incentives.

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