Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團) yesterday said it planned to spend 1 billion reais (US$494 million) to build new factories in Brazil that will be tasked with manufacturing Apple’s iPhones and iPads, among other electronic components, making it the group’s latest overseas investment.
The announcement came 15 months after group chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) revealed that Foxconn was in talks with Brazil’s government to build factories to make tablet computers.
Gou said the group would collaborate with its clients in search of new growth in emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia and South Africa, which is part of the group’s five-year program to spur growth.
With the 1 billion reais investment, Foxconn will open five factories in an industrial park in Itu, a city near Sao Paulo, said Simon Hsing (邢治平), spokesman of Foxconn’s flagship company Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (鴻海精密).
The new facilities are scheduled to crank out their first batch of products in 2014 and are expected to reach full capacity by 2016, Foxconn said, confirming a report by the Agencia Estado news agency on Tuesday.
Foxconn said it also planned to manufacture cables, cameras, touch-sensor glass, LED products, printed-circuit boards (PCBs) and other components.
The investment will create 10,000 jobs, Gou told shareholders, adding that Foxconn had already hired about 6,000 workers in Brazil.
Foxconn now assembles Apple products at a plant in Jundiai and operates four other plants in Sao Paulo and three plants in other states of the Latin American country.
Foxconn’s Brazil unit chief executive officer Henry Cheng (鄭家純) is set to sign a memorandum of understanding with Luciano Almeida, president of Investe Sao Paulo, at the Palacio dos Bandeirantes, Hsing said.
Investe Sao Paulo is the gateway for foreign companies that intend to settle their operations in the state of Sao Paulo. Hsing said the technology group would not benefit from special tax incentives from the state government of Sao Paulo.
Gou said in June last year that he was in discussion with the Brazilian government to help the country build a technology center and build an electronics supply chain. He said 14 Taiwanese companies, including Acer Inc (宏碁) and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), had agreed to join this program.
As part of that program, China’s biggest PC brand, Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), has announced a plan to build a plant in Itu, Agencia Estado quoted Almeida as saying in Tuesday’s report.
Hon Hai shares rose 0.83 percent to NT$96.9 yesterday in Taipei trading yesterday, out-performing the benchmark TAIEX, which gained 0.62 percent.
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