Taiwan’s Foxconn technology group, the world’s biggest electronics contract manufacturer and a key Apple supplier has recently acquired the right to use a property in an industrial park in northern Vietnam. The company is reportedly considering setting up an iPhone manufacturing facility in Vietnam to mitigate the negative impacts of the ongoing US-China trade war.
Vietnam would serve as an additional production base to shelter operations from the trade tension and is one of the preferred locations as compared to India. According to Le Dang Doanh, the former economic adviser of the Vietnamese government, Vietnam has joined multiple trade pacts including the recently-ratified Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which would allow iPhones to be exported to many member countries with lower tariffs. Following an investment of US$5 billion in Vietnam in 2007, Foxconn could leverage on its existing operations in Vietnam to continue expansion of investments in the country.
However, Vietnam has a low number of supporting business and lower credit ratings as compared to India. Although high iPhone import tariffs due to the ‘Make in India’ policy might deter Foxconn from India, greater labour and English skills could make India a prime location as well.
Taiwanese companies have invested estimated US$31 billion in more than 2,530 projects in Vietnam, making them one of the top 10 investors of Vietnam.
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