Intel reveals US$475m investment in Vietnam as Communist Party says it loves high-tech industry

What a co-incidence this news has emerged in the same week as a five-yearly party congress!


Intel has revealed that it pumped an extra US$475m into its facilities in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Chipzilla revealed the investments today during a ceremony at which it was awarded an “Amended Investment Registration Certificate” – recognition from Vietnam’s government that it had spent the money on expanding its existing chip assembly and test manufacturing facility in Saigon.

Intel’s announcement says the money “helped enhance manufacturing of Intel’s 5G products, Intel Core processors with Intel Hybrid Technology and 10th Gen Intel Core processors.”

All of which is so last year: Intel quit 5G modems in 2019 and the rest of its 5G portfolio is still emerging, the company is now on 11th-gen core kit and the Core CPUs with Hybrid Tech were 10nm affairs.

Vietnam wants to transform its economic growth paradigm with a stronger focus on science and technology development

Chipzilla’s Vietnam presence is its largest test and assembly facility, so news of the cash splash is more than Intel telling the world it’s doing things that enhance its manufacturing capabilities after just admitting it will outsource some production after bungling new chipmaking processes.

It’s also a big deal to Vietnam, which courted Intel aggressively, celebrated its 2006 opening as a sign it could attract big tech investment and – perhaps frustratingly - still counts the chipmaker as the largest US-based high-tech investor on its shores.

Little wonder then that Nguyen Anh Thi, president of the Saigon Hi-Tech Park that is Intel’s Vietnamese home, offered a canned quote stating: “We highly appreciate the expanded investment of Intel Vietnam, especially in the challenge of COVID pandemic, when most local and foreign direct investments have been impacted.”

“The increased investment decision from Intel means a great deal to us and proves Intel’s great confidence in the local workforce and the stable investment environment in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City and Saigon Hi-Tech Park, in particular.”

Intel Vietnam GM Kim Huat Ooi weighed in by saying the company just clocked up its two billionth shipment, which shows the nation and Intel’s outpost are “helping Intel meet the needs of its customers all around the world” which justifies continued investment in the socialist nation.

In what might be a massive co-incidence, Intel’s announcement was during the five-yearly National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

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As reported in state-controlled organ Việt Nam News, the party has resolved “to transform its economic growth paradigm with a stronger focus on industrialisation and modernisation, science and technology development, innovation and high-quality human resources development.”

“The focus in the policy to attract foreign investment will shift from quantity to quality, where projects with modern technology, high added value, modern governance models, and strong ties to domestic economic sectors will be prioritised,” the newspaper adds.

No wonder Intel was awarded that Amended Investment Registration Certificate – it looks like Chipzilla is an exemplar of the nation’s new economic policy. ®

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