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Vietnam province says licensing of Samsung's additional $3bn investment not yet confirmed

Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 13:53 GMT+7

Authorities of a northern Vietnamese province are considering licensing a fresh investment of US$3 billion by Samsung Electronics to build a mobile phone factory there, but the details are yet to be confirmed, the provincial chairman said Tuesday.

The new smartphone plant will reportedly be located next to an existing facility in the Yen Binh Industrial Park of Thai Nguyen Province, according to information obtained by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

The 70-hectare plant is expected to initially recruit 20,000 workers, and later increase the workforce to 30,000.

It will be the third mobile phone complex operated by Samsung in Vietnam, with the first facility located in Bac Ninh, also a northern province.

Dau Tu (Investment), a Vietnamese-language newspaper, reported earlier this week that the world’s leading smartphone maker had been scheduled to receive the investment license from the Thai Nguyen administration on Tuesday.

But Thai Nguyen chairman Duong Ngoc Long told Tuoi Tre yesterday that he could not confirm the investment license granting for Samsung.

An official from the Ministry of Planning and Investment told the daily the same day that the Thai Nguyen project is still in the process of completing its application and has yet to be licensed.

“Samsung still has not submitted its application to the Thai Nguyen management board of industrial parks, and relevant ministries and industries have yet to finish giving their feedback,” the official, who wished not to be named, said.

“It could take two more weeks for all licensing procedures to be completed.”

The Thai Nguyen administration recently met with Samsung, which then unveiled the plan for the additional $3 billion investment, according to the trade promotional center under the province’s Department of Planning and Investment.

The provincial investment department also said on its website that Samsung “will invest $3 billion and increase the workforce in Thai Nguyen to 57,000 workers in 2015.”

The South Korean firm’s investment in Vietnam has hit nearly $7 billion.

Besides the $2.5 billion and $2 billion smartphone complexes in Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen, the screen-making unit of Samsung in June inked an agreement to set up a $1 billion LCD plant in Bac Ninh. It will also build a $1.4 billion consumer electronics factory in Ho Chi Minh City’s Saigon Hi-Tech Park.

If the 70-hectare plant in Thai Nguyen is licensed, Samsung’s total investment in Vietnam will rise to roughly $10 billion, making the Southeast Asian one of the most important production bases for the electronics behemoth.

The company also signed a memorandum of understanding last month to develop a $2.5 billion thermal power plant in the north-central province of Ha Tinh.

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