Foxconn reaffirms investment plans to build touchscreen factory

Friday, October 14, 2011

Executives from Foxconn, a Taiwanese manufacturer of Apple products, have reaffirmed their promise to invest in Brazil, news source Convergência Digital reported.

Foxconn president Terry Gou met with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, joined by science and technology minister Aloizio Mercadante, to discuss the issue, according to reports. Afterward, Gou said his company will not back out of plans to build a touchscreen factory in Brazil. When finished, the plant will be the first of its kind outside of Asia.

The project includes construction of two screen-producing units.

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The investment amount is said to be the main obstacle in the negotiations and setting a schedule. To take off, the project will need to bring together a private local partner and public funding from national development bank BNDES - members of which, fearing the Taiwanese firm would make no investments at all, have said the bank could call off its backing.

"What we are discussing is a very complex type of investment, of a new [kind of] factory. There will be more than one high technology facility, which requires a skilled work force, a lot of energy and water, logistics, an international airport with daily flights and fiber optic networking cables," Mercadante said.

According to the minister, six states are courting Foxconn to build the facilities, the total budget for which might reach US$12bn.

But Mercadante also said the government is sticking to its December timeline for Foxconn's production of Apple's iPad tablets in its Jundiaí, São Paulo state factory.

Foxconn's local iPad production was highly publicized during Rousseff's visit to China in April and was originally expected to begin in July. Since then, the project has advanced slowly and the production's launch was postponed to the end of the year.