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With one of the fastest growing economies in the world and its new accession to the WTO(World Trade Organization), Vietnam is poised to become the next “Asian Tiger” economy. These notes may be worth lot more in future.
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The Associated Press
Vietnam's Ministry of Investment and Planning has approved an investment license for California-based Intel Corp., which plans to build a $605 million chip assembly plant in Ho Chi Minh City, a ministry official said Thursday.
"We have agreed to issue a license to Intel to build a semiconductor facility in Vietnam," said the official who spoke under condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media. "The factory will be the largest computer equipment manufacturing plant in Vietnam."
Intel Vietnam said the ministry will officially give the license to Intel on Tuesday at a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City to be attended by Intel Chairman Craig R. Barrett.
The plant will be the Santa Clara-based company's sixth in Asia. The size of the investment and its prominence in high tech signal a turning point in Vietnam's economic emergence.
The country is already an important exporter of food and textiles, and its success in attracting capital is growing.
Merrill Lynch estimates that foreign direct investment in Vietnam reached $5 billion in 2005, an eight-year high. The influx helped lift annual economic growth to rates approaching those of Asia's biggest booming economies, China and India. Over the past six years, Vietnam's gross domestic product has grown at an annual average of 7.4 percent, adjusted for inflation.
Government officials in Hanoi said Intel's decision to invest in Vietnam would provide a great boost to the country's information technology (IT) development program.
"Once Intel arrives in Vietnam, we expect more foreign investors to follow because they will need to work (with Intel) in producing computers and other accessories from here," said Nguyen Duc Hoang from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.
Vietnam has sufficient human resources to meet Intel's demand, Hoang said.
The Ministry of Investment and Planning official said Intel chose to locate its plant in Ho Chi Minh City because city authorities are providing a good location for its operation.
"But in the longer term, Hanoi is expected to become another ideal location for high-tech firms because it is building Hoa Lack high-tech park nearby," the official said.
Currently, about 260 U.S. firms, with a combined capital of $1.45 billion, have directly invested in Vietnam, according to government statistics.
In 2005, total computer and electronic equipment exports from Vietnam rose 34 percent over 2004 to $1.44 billion, while imports of computers and electronics rose 26.3 percent to $1.7 billion.