HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam-Computer chip manufacturer Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, CA) will increase the size of the assembly and test facility it is building in Vietnam from 150,000 square feet to 500,000 square feet, in the process raising its total investment in the country to $1 billion.

Intel decided to increase the size of the facility after an internal study determined that 500,000 square feet was the most efficient size for an assembly and test facility. The new Vietnam facility will be the largest single factory within the Intel assembly and test network. Production at the facility will begin in March. Eventually, the plant could employ as many as 4,000 people.

"Intel has enjoyed a strong, constructive working relationship with the Vietnam government, both at the local and national levels," says Rick Howarth, general manager of Intel Products Vietnam. "We were very pleased that the discussions with the local authorities went smoothly so we could significantly expand the facility's size."

The Vietnam facility is just one part of a comprehensive expansion plan that will include nearly $6 billion in capital investments worldwide by year's end. When completed, the Vietnam facility will be the seventh assembly and test site in Intel's global network. Other sites include Penang and Kulim, Malaysia; Cavite, Philippines; Chengdu and Shanghai, China; and San Jose, Costa Rica.