Samsung has broken ground on a $220m research and development centre in Hanoi, its first outside Korea.
Work began without an inaugural ceremony, originally scheduled for Saturday, owing to fears over the coronavirus.
Vietnam recently acted to prevent tourism from areas such as South Korea that have been hit by the outbreak.
Located in the city’s upmarket Tay Ho (West Lake) district, the R&D centre will have 16 storeys above ground and three underground floors, with a total floor area of 80,000 sq m.
When complete towards the end of 2022 it will have 800 staff working on Samsung products, as well as emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, 5G networks, the internet of things and big data. As well as the laboratories, it will offer staff a gym, a clubhouse and a sky garden.
Choi Joo Ho, Samsung’s general director for Vietnam, said in a statement that the centre would be a strategic milestone in the firm’s 12-year investment history in Vietnam. He added: "This is also where we realise our commitment to contribute to the development of Vietnam’s science and technology through training and nurturing talented human resources in the field of high technology."
The Korean company has invested about $17bn in Vietnam, making it the largest single source of foreign funding, and making Vietnam its largest manufacturing hub.
Samsung opened a smartphone factory in Bac Ninh Province in 2008, followed by a second plant in Thai Nguyen Province. It also has a consumer appliance and television-making complex in Ho Chi Minh City and an existing R&D unit in central Hanoi.
Image: Samsung’s rendering of its West Lake facility