Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn, has confirmed plans to set aside up to US$1 billion to build new factories in Indonesia.
It signed a letter of intent this week which would see the Taiwanese contract manufacturer investing the amount over the next three to five years, reported The China Post. It added that it was evaluating Indonesian capital, Jakarta, as a potential site for a facility and would propose an investment plan to local authorities within three months.
Foxconn said Jakarta would be its gateway into the Indonesian market, which it has identified as a potentially large consumer electronics market with a population of about 240 million that has remained largely untapped. Its investment would span across several areas including research and development, and electronics software design.
The Taiwanese manufacturer in 2012 had spoken to Indonesia officials about investing in the country, with its first plan expected to begin operations in December that year, but delayed its plans as it did not meet requirements established by the local government.
Its investment in the country previously had been reported to be up to US$10 billion over five years, though Foxconn did not confirm these details. Its chairman Terry Guo, however, did say Indonesia could potentially replace China as the world's manufacturing hub in future.
According to analysts, Foxconn's investment in the Southeast Asian market is part of the company's bid to diversify investments away from China where it already employs about 1 million workers and operates major manufacturing facilities, churning out products for Apple, Sony, and Nokia, among others.
The manufacturer in November said it was investing US$40 million in Pennsylvania, to build a "high-end supply chain", which would include plans to hire 500 employees in the U.S. state as well as to develop robotic technology with Carnegie Mellon University.
Foxconn last month also unveiled plans to double its revenue over the next decade, to NT$10 trillion (US$329.68 billion), by expanding its portfolio to include e-commerce, 4G, and cloud.
Last week, Apple was reportedly planning to restart production of the iPhone 4 to be sold in India, Indonesia, and Brazil.