Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong flew to Vietnam on Wednesday to attend a ceremony celebrating the completion of a research and development center in Hanoi.
Lee told reporters on his way to Gimpo International Airport that the purpose of the visit is to join the completion ceremony, and did not elaborate any further.
Accompanying Lee was Roh Tae-mun, head of Samsung Electronics’ mobile division, Samsung Display CEO Choi Joo-sun and Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Chung Hyun-ho, who heads a business support task force team.
Vietnam houses Samsung Electronics’ smartphone, appliance and display panel factories in Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen. The country’s smartphone factories are responsible for producing almost half of the company’s Galaxy smartphones.
The addition of the R&D center could strengthen Vietnam’s position as a key production and research site for the electronics giant.
On the 11,603 square meters (2.9 acres) of land, the 16-story facility will have a floor area of 79,511 square meters (855,849 square feet) where about 3,000 researchers will carry out research projects for mobile devices, network communication technologies and software.
The question is whether he will also meet with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to discuss additional investment. In previous meetings, the president asked Samsung to build a semiconductor factory, according to media reports.
The two sat together for a meeting in 2020 and 2018 in Vietnam.
Samsung Electronics is currently cutting down on the production of smartphones in the Vietnamese factories in an effort to diversify its supply chain and address weak demand.
The manufacturer slashed smartphone production in Vietnam twice this year alone, according to Reuters, as consumers cut back on spending for electronic devices amid rising inflation and an economic slowdown.
Samsung Electronics has set a goal of cutting Vietnam production down to 46 percent next year, according to an internal business planning report cited by media reports.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [email@example.com]. This article was first posted here