Vietnam to become Southeast Asia’s fastest growing contract manufacturing hub

A growing wave of high-tech investors is helping lay the foundation for Vietnam to become Southeast Asia’s next big center for electronics manufacturing.

Foxconn of Taiwan, also known as Hon Hai, the world’s largest contract manufacturer, has applied for a license to manufacture electronics and computer products including digital cameras, personal computer printed circuit motherboards, and music players.

Compal Electronics has unveiled plans to build notebook PCs in Vietnam. It also plans to expand into LCD TVs.

Jabil Circuit (JBL) of St. Petersburg, FL in JUne began operations at its facility in Saigon Hi-Tech Park in Ho Chi Minh City, where it makes laser printers for HP. Jabil plans to spend up to $100 million on its operations in Vietnam, which is increasingly seen as an alternative to China. While the minimum wage in Vietnam of about $60 per month is less than in much of coastal China, China’s extensive network of component suppliers still gives it the edge.

Allied Technologies (AMOT) of Singapore operates three separate divisions supplying Jabil. In operation since 2005, it now employs 250 workers in metal stamping, plastic molding, and extrusion facilities for parts Jabil uses to produce HP printers.

Altera (ALTR), of San Jose, Calif., on June 4 announced it would establish a technology center in Ho Chi Minh City to support its global chipset development network.

Japanese semiconductor design company Renesas Technology established Renesas Design Vietnam, which develops LSI devices for applications in consumer electronics, mobile products, and automobiles.

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