Trump: Hon Hai investments could hit US$30 billion

Washington, Aug. 1 (CNA) U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Taiwan-based manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. could invest up to US$30 billion in the U.S. market.

Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn outside Taiwan, announced last week that it will spend US$10 billion building a flat panel plant in Wisconsin in response to Trump's "America First" policy to create jobs in the U.S.

In a gathering with small business leaders at the White House, Trump, accompanied by his daughter Ivanka, said the investment in Wisconsin marked just the beginning of Foxconn's plans in the U.S. indicating that Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou (???) is considering the possibility of investing more.

"He told me off the record he thinks he may go US$30 billion. Think of this. He may go 30-billion-dollar investment, but he told me that off the record so I promised I wouldn't tell anyone," Trump told his audience, referring to Gou.

In a press conference held in the White House last week to announce the Wisconsin investment plan, Trump praised Gou as one of the world's greatest businessmen, saying that if he had not won the presidency, the Taiwanese tycoon would not have made such a big investment in the U.S.

In response to Trump's revelation about Hon Hai's investment plans, which could swell to US$30 billion from US$10 billion, the Taiwanese company issued a statement in Taipei on Wednesday that confirmed the Wisconsin project as the first step in the company's U.S. investment plans and said a formal announcements on follow-up plans will be made once they are finalized.

Hon Hai, one of the most important assemblers of Apple Inc's iPhones and iPads, did not disclose any details about the financial terms of possible follow-up plans for its U.S. investment code-named the "Flying Eagle" project.

Last week, Gou signed a memorandum of understanding on the flat screen plant investment with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, with the first phase of the project to be completed over four years and the second phase over two years.

Gou promised to create up to 13,000 jobs over the six-year timeframe, while Wisconsin has agreed to provide up to US$3 billion in economic incentives for the company that will include a construction sales tax exemption and refundable Enterprise Zone credits for capital invested and jobs created.

Commenting on its US$10 billion liquid crystal display plant investment plan in Wisconsin, Hon Hai said that the flat panel plant aims to rollout 8K ultra high-definition and advanced 5G operations as a foundation for future industrial development.

Hon Hai currently runs a broad production network in China that employs a workforce of about 1 million.

The manufacturing giant is also extending its operations in India, where it has embarked on a project to establish 10-12 facilities by 2020.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel