The deal was signed on July 16 by Mr Nagamori and technology park chief Pham Chanh Truc. Construction work has already begun.

Nidec’s plans include a R&D centre and a production plant concentrating on semiconductor chips and other precision components used in cars, PCs and other digital devices, such as cameras and video cameras. When the facility becomes operational in August 2005, it will cover about 330,000 square metres and create about 10,000 jobs in both production and R&D.

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Nidec has been operating in Vietnam for nearly a decade through its joint venture with Tosok Precision Co in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone.

Its latest commitment comes as a flagship investment for Saigon’s new technology park. The 915 hectare technology zone has already attracted at least eight other investors and the first phase of infrastructure construction covering one third of the site is largely complete at a cost of more than $60m. Local officials say that more than 50 local and foreign investors have shown an interest in the technology park.