Many giant corporations like Intel of the US , Nidec of Japan and Robert Bosch of Germany are pouring more money into the high-tech field in HCM City.

Intel Vietnam , for example, has opened its plant, one of the largest in the Asia-Pacific region that makes and tests electronic chips.

The plant, which is located in the Sai Gon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) in District 9, began operating its first production line for test purposes earlier this year.

Le Thi Thanh My, deputy head of the management board of the SHTP, said since July Intel had exported goods for more than 30 orders.

In addition, Germany Robert Bosch Vietnam next month will put into operation the Centre for Research and Production of Software, one of only two centres of the company in the Asia-Pacific region. The other centre, located in India , employs 70,000 engineers.

Vo Quang Hue, managing director of Robert Bosch Vietnam Company, said the company had also disbursed 24 million EUR (31.2 million USD) out of the total committed capital of 55 million EUR (71.5 million USD) for a project to develop an assembly-line plant to make automatic automobile gear boxes.

The plant, in Dong Nai southern province's Long Thanh district, has a capacity of 2.3 million products per year.

Robert Bosch Vietnam will develop the second phase of the project and disburse the entire capital of 55 million EUR by 2015.

Vietnam is the only market in Southeast Asia in which Robert Bosch has invested in all three areas of operation, including sales, production and research.

According to Lu Thanh Phong, deputy director of HCM City 's Department of Planning and Investment, of the 3,000 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with a total capital of 37 billion USD in the city, Japanese businesses account for 397 projects. They operate in mechanics, spare parts production, food processing and others.

Japan has been cautious in expanding its investment in the hi-tech field in HCM City due to limited capital resources.

However, many Japanese corporations that produce semi-conducting spare parts had increased their investment in HCM City recently, Phong said.

According to Nagamori Shigennobu, chairman of the Japan-based Nidec Corporation, Nidec will continue to invest in research and development at the SHTP.

Nidec has developed three projects and recently received a licence for another project. Total capital for the projects at the park is 500 million USD.

Nagamori Shigennobu has also committed to encouraging small and medium-sized Japanese businesses to invest in the park. Most of the businesses make spare parts for Nidec products.

With more high-tech projects in the pipeline, Vietnam has more opportunities to promote investment and enhance its competitiveness capacity in the field.

Hue said Vietnam has advantages over other countries in the region due to its low labour costs and good location for transporting products to other countries in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world.

Vietnam should create the most favourable conditions for foreign corporations so that they can produce and export hi-tech products here, Hue added./.