Irish eyes are smiling thanks to Taiwanese investment

Two factories to create 500 much needed jobs

Taiwan’s first foray into Ireland will create 500 jobs over the next four years, the Irish government said today. Hon Hai Precision Industry plans to invest over 8 million Irish punts (£6.7 million) to set up two factories in Mullingar, Westmeath, the first investment by a Taiwanese company in the Emerald Isle. The first will be a 4.5 million punt (£3.8 million) facility to make computer enclosures for vendors such as Apple and Dell. It will employ around 350 people, according to Reuters news service. Hon Hai, which will operate as Foxteq Engineering (Ireland), is also due to pump 3.5 million punts (£2.9 million) into the launch of a European design and low volume production centre for electronic components. This centre, making kit such as cable assemblies, connectors and riser cards, is intended to service European customers such as Hewlett Packard, Fujitsu and Nokia. Irish deputy prime minister Mary Harney today applauded the investment in the region. Mullingar was hit by an employment crisis last year after the exit of German company Tarkett Sommer. Taipei-based Hon Hai employs 20,000 staff in 18 manufacturing plants in Taiwan, China, the US and Scotland. It recorded sales of over £0.6 billion and net profit of around £1 million in 1998. ®

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