HO CHI MINH CITY, Feb 28 (AFP): The world's largest chipmaker Intel was due to announce today the building of a 605-million-dollar semiconductor plant in Vietnam, in the largest investment by a US company in its former foe.
The IT giant's move to set up shop in the booming southern business hub of Ho Chi Minh City has been hailed as placing Vietnam on the high-tech map, bringing jobs and technological know-how and potentially enticing other international hardware and software companies to follow.
"Intel's decision to invest in Vietnam is the 24-carat gold stamp of approval for Vietnam as a world class investment destination," Walter Blocker, chairman of the American chamber of commerce in Ho Chi Minh City, said.
California-based Intel will employ about 2,000 workers at the 46.7 hectare (115 acre) plant in the Saigon Hi-Tech Park to make chips and computer parts for export.
Analysts say Intel is attracted to Vietnam because of its low-cost and educated labour force and as part of its drive to diversify its locations across the globe-but also to target Vietnam's local market in the long term.
With a dynamic economy and a highly literate population of more than 82 million, two-thirds of them aged under 30, Vietnam is already Southeast Asia's fastest growing PC market.