Japan-based electronics giant Sharp Corporation, controlled by Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group, plans to develop a $2-billion camera module manufacturing facility in the southern province of Binh Duong, a move to help revive Foxconn’s previous commitment to invest $5 billion in Vietnam.
According to managing executive officer of Sharp Corporation Yoshihiro Hashimoto, the corporation is exploring opportunities to develop a factory for high-tech camera modules in Binh Duong. The project is part of the group’s broader strategy to increase focus on new-generation camera modules. Covering an area of 100,000 square metres, the project is expected to have the total investment capital of $1.5-2 billion with projected sales of $18 billion between 2019 and 2023. Once completed in July 2019, the project is expected to create around 8,000-10,000 jobs.
During a welcoming reception held in Binh Duong last week, Hashimoto said that Sharp had explored the investment environment in many countries, and localities in Vietnam as well. The corporation saw that Binh Duong had the most favourable and appropriate conditions for investment. He expected the local authorities to continue collaborating with Sharp to invest in the province.
Mr. Tran Thanh Liem (right side) – Vice President of Binh Duong Province welcomed Mr. Hashimoto Yoshihiro – CEO of Sharp Corporation
The Sharp facility would help fulfill Foxconn’s promise for investment in Vietnam. In 2007, Foxconn announced that it would invest $5 billion in various projects within the country, which was expected to propel Vietnam into the global supply chain. However, the Taiwanese electronics maker has so far failed to follow through on this commitment.
In 2016, Foxconn completed its $3.5-billion takeover of Sharp. Under new Foxconn management, the Japanese electronics giant has changed rapidly. Sharp will stop making household appliances in Japan, relocating production abroad as its focus shifts to the Chinese and Southeast Asian markets. The corporation will also concentrate on the production of higher value electronics components as well as the research and development of new technologies related to the Internet of Things.
In line with this strategy, Sharp also announced that it had acquired a controlling stake in Saigon Stec for $3.1 million in May 2017. Saigon Stec is a manufacturer of camera modules in a Vietnamese subsidiary of Sharp Takaya, which has had a collaborative relationship with Sharp for many years. Sharp is also planning to reinforce its cost competitiveness in the camera modules business, a market expected to expand along with smartphones and tablet terminals.
Besides, Sharp has also branched into Vietnam’s solar energy sector, a move in line with Foxconn’s ambition to become a leader in clean energy. In February, Sharp inked a deal with Thanh Thanh Cong Group’s Gia Lai Electricity JSC to build a solar power plant worth nearly VND700 billion ($31.4 million) in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.