Samsung Electronics has begun developing a $220 million research and development facility in Vietnam, the South Korean tech titan’s local unit stated Monday.
However, a ground-breaking ceremony, scheduled for the last Saturday, was canceled because of a virus pandemic that led to a travel ban on South Koreans, said Hong Sun, the VP of Korea Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam.
A Samsung Electronics spokesperson confirmed the cancellation but didn’t present any other details.
Development of the facility in Hanoi will be completed by the end of 2022, Samsung Vietnam stated adding that it will hire between 2,200 and 3,000 people.
Samsung is the single largest foreign investor in Vietnam, with investments totaling $17 billion.
The facility as planned could be the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia and will improve the company’s research capability in such areas as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things(IoT), big data and 5G, it stated.
The Vietnamese government earlier Monday declared the commencement of building the R&D facility.
Vietnam’s exports of smartphones and spare parts, manufactured mainly by Samsung Electronics, surged 4.4% last year to $51.38 billion, based on government customs data.
Vietnam state Friday it can suspend visa-free travel for South Koreans beginning February 29, amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, Vietnam banned tourists from coronavirus-hit locations of South Korea. South Korea made up a quarter of Vietnam’s 18 million tourists in 2019, the second-largest group after Chinese guests.