Update: 16:39 | 21/10/2020
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called on Samsung Electronics to build a semiconductor plant in Vietnam.
He made the suggestion at a meeting on Tuesday with the South Korean company’s vice chairman, Lee Jae-yong, who is on a three-day business trip to Vietnam to explore business opportunities, the government news site reported.
He said a semiconductor plant would enable the company to have a closed production chain in Vietnam where it already has smartphone and consumer electronics plants.
The factory of Samsung Electronics Vietnam in the northern province of Thai Nguyen.
Samsung has two factories making smartphones in the north and a consumer electronics manufacturing plant in Ho Chi Minh City.
Phuc promised Vietnam would create the best possible conditions for Samsung to invest, including in R&D and hi-tech projects.
He said Vietnam has managed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic and would be the only country in Southeast Asia to achieve positive growth this year, possibly emerging as the fourth largest economy in the region this year.
Lee said Samsung’s $220 million research and development center in Hanoi, the first of its kind outside South Korea, would begin functioning in 2022. Construction began in March this year.
With more than 3,000 engineers it would become the company’s key R&D center globally, he said.
He thanked the Vietnamese government for allowing more than 3,000 Samsung personnel to enter the country to work since March though of the Covid-19 pandemic.
If Samsung’s production units in Vietnam did not function normally, it would disrupt its global production and supply chain, he said.
He plans to visit TV screen producer Samsung Electronics HCMC CE Complex (SEHC) at the Saigon Hi-Tech Park in HCMC's District 9 and consider expanding it.
The PM told him the government had agreed with HCMC's proposal to allow SEHC to become an export processing company to enable it to expand and strengthen its global competitiveness.
Vietnam is Samsung's largest smartphone production base, with half of all its phones being made in the country. It has invested over $17 billion in Vietnam so far.