|Bridgestone corporation inaugurated its first tire plant in Hai Phong. — File Photo
HAI PHONG (VNS)— Bridgestone Corporation, the world's largest tire and rubber company, yesterday inaugurated its first tire plant in Viet Nam.
With a capital investment of nearly US$448 million, the plant is expected to serve as a key export base to Europe, North America and Japan when fully operational.
Located at the Dinh Vu Industrial Zone in northern Hai Phong City, the plant is manufacturing radial tires for passenger cars.
It began production last April with a planned capacity of around 10,000 tires per day by year-end. Production is expected to double next year and reach the designed capacity of 49,000 tires per day by the second half of 2017.
At the opening ceremony, Industry and Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang hailed Hai Phong authorities for their efforts to attract foreign investment, particularly from large multinational corporations.
"The Bridgestone operation in Viet Nam reflects stronger economic ties between the country and Japan, with co-operation upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership that will provide mutual benefits for both sides," Hoang said.
He suggested that Bridgestone increase the localisation rate in its production and prioritise the use of Vietnamese rubber.
Hoang also expressed hopes that with the presence of Bridgestone in Viet Nam, domestic companies would have more opportunities to participate in global production chains.
Masaaki Tsuya, Bridgestone Corporation chairman and chief executive officer, said the company planned to increase the localisation rate in stages and would strive to use raw materials from Viet Nam, including rubber.
"The factory in Viet Nam is built on a global level and serves as a key export base to many countries. That means we will need a great amount of raw material. The company will undertake to utilise as many materials from Viet Nam as possible," Tsuya added.
Teruo Kunitake, Bridgestone Tire Manufacturing Viet Nam LLC general director, noted that the company's more than 1,100 employees were mostly Vietnamese, and the company has been increasing its manufacturing output on a daily basis.
"Apart from contributing to Viet Nam's economy, we also plan to drive a better future by supporting the local community and environment in Viet Nam," Kunitake said.
With its headquarters in Tokyo, Bridgestone sells its products to more than 150 nations and territories around the world. — VNS