Samsung to Build Handset Plant in Northern Viet Nam

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. plans to build a US$670 million plant to make mobile phone handsets in northern Viet Nam, AP reported on Friday.

The news firm said the world’s second largest handset maker has been pushing for the Viet Nam plant for nearly a year and submitted the proposal to authorities in Bac Ninh Province last month, said Nguyen Quang Thanh of the provincial Planning and Investment Department.

“They still lack some papers,” he said. “Once they fill in all necessary papers, we will grant the investment license right away.”

The Vietnamese young generation is fond of new functions of high-end cell phones (Photo: Minh Tuong)

The plant will produce 30 million mobile phone handsets a year in the first stage and will gradually expand to produce 100 million units, he said.

Samsung Electronics executives in Hanoi were not available for comment Friday, AP said. But company officials had earlier said that they were considering Viet Nam for its cheap labor.

Besides Samsung’s domestic handset plant in Gumi City, some 160 miles southeast of Seoul, Samsung also has handset facilities in China, India and Brazil.

Samsung currently produces nearly 50 percent of its phones at the Gumi plant, Korea’s JoonAng Daily reported. The daily quoted a Samsung executive as saying that the Gumi plant produced 80 million handsets last year.

“High-end cell phones will be produced at the Gumi plant, while cheaper models will be made at the Vietnamese plant,” JoonAng Daily quoted the source as saying, but did not name the source.

According to the Korean newspaper, since Samsung plans to gradually expand capacity at its Viet Nam plant, the Gumi community expects the Gumi plant to see decreased production numbers in the coming years.

According to Gumi’s website, the surrounding area relies heavily on the cell phone business. About 400 small and midsized companies related to cell phones are scattered around Samsung’s Gumi plant, the daily said.

Minh Tuong

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