Sony to Close TV Assembly Plant in Vietnam

Competition has increased since Vietnam now part of WTO

Sony Corp. said on July 25 that it planned to close its television assembly plant in Vietnam at the end of September with the loss of 200 jobs.

The Ho Chi Minh City plant has been producing television sets with cathode ray tubes and liquid crystal displays for Vietnam's domestic market since 1994, Sony spokeswoman Yuki Kobayashi said. However, demand for the TVs has been shrinking in recent years.

"The demand may be covered by shipments from Sony plants in neighboring Malaysia and Thailand," she said. Sony did not disclose the plant's production capacity.

Vietnam's acceptance into the World Trade Organization last November has helped ease trade barriers in the country which is implementing free-market reforms. "Shipments of finished products from outside are now competitive cost-wise," Kobayashi said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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