Apple CEO says that he wants to increase investments in Vietnam

Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) shakes hands with Apple CEO Tim Cook during a meeting at the Government Office in Hanoi on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. Tech giant Apple said it would increase spending on suppliers in Vietnam, a key production hub, as CEO Tim Cook arrived on April 15, 2024 in the country for a two-day visit. - AFP

HANOI, Vietnam (AP): Apple CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday that he wants to further increase investment in Vietnam a day after the company announced it would spending on suppliers in the South-East Asian manufacturing hub.

Vietnam has become more important to Apple as the company seeks to diversify its supply chains away from China, where most of its smartphones and tablets are assembled.

The company began looking at moving its production to countries like Vietnam, and more recently India, after shutdowns to fight COVID-19 in China repeatedly disrupted the company's shipments.

Cook made his comments while meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, according to state media outlet Voice of Vietnam. Apple also said that it would increase its spending on suppliers, according to a press release on Monday.

"There is no place like Vietnam, a vibrant and beautiful country," said Cook, according to the press release, adding that the company's annual spending in the country had doubled since 2019.

No details were shared about the plan. Cook arrived in Hanoi on Monday for a two-day visit during which he met students, programmers and content creators.

Apple began operating in Vietnam over a decade ago, and says it is responsible for creating over 200,000 jobs there. Vietnam is also among the top five leading mobile game producers globally.

Apple has 26 suppliers with 28 factories in Vietnam, according to its 2022 list. Most of these located in northern provinces, where they can be easily connected to existing supply chains in southern China. Northern Vietnam has also historically been a hub for making electronics and has cheap, skilled labour. - AP

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