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July 26, 2008

Sony to close TV assembly plant in Vietnam

Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp. said Friday that it planned to close its television assembly plant in Vietnam at the end of September with the loss of 200 jobs, reported AFP.

The Ho Chi Minh City plant has been producing television sets with cathode ray tubes and liquid crystal displays for Vietnam's domestic market since 1994, Sony spokeswoman Yuki Kobayashi said. However, demand for the TVs has been shrinking in recent years.

"The demand may be covered by shipments from Sony plants in neighbouring Malaysia and Thailand," she said. Sony did not disclose the plant's production capacity.

Vietnam's acceptance into the World Trade Organisation last November has helped ease trade barriers in the socialist country which is implementing free-market reforms.

"Shipments of finished products from outside are now competitive cost wise," Kobayashi said.

Reuters reported that the closure is expected to have little impact on its earnings. Sony declined to disclose the production capacity of the plant, but said the size is fairly small as it is designed to meet only domestic demand.

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