Hon Hai in talks with the U.S. on investments

Taipei--Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??, better known as Foxconn outside Taiwan ), the world's largest contract electronics maker, said Saturday that it was in talks with the U.S. government for possible investments in the United States.

In a statement, Hon Hai, an assembler of iPhones and iPads for Apple Inc., said that the company is earnestly seeking investment opportunities in the U.S. market and is evaluating the possibility of pouring capital there for expansion.

Hon Hai, which has built a broad production site in China with a workforce of about 1 million, expressed gratitude to the White House Office of American Innovation for its efforts to pave the path for the Taiwanese firm's negotiations with the U.S. government for possible investments.

The White House Office of American Innovation, created by President Donald Trump and led by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, aims to reform the federal government through private-sector solutions.

Hon Hai issued the statement after its Chairman Terry Gou (???) was spotted by Washington Post reporter David Nakamura on Thursday when the Taiwanese business tycoon walked out of the White House.

It was the first of Gou's two visits to the White House in as many days.

On Friday, as he exited 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the second time, he told that Hon Hai was planning to make a "capital intensive investment" in the U.S. market, when he exited the White House Friday.

"We are planning a number of investments in America," Gou said. "This project will include both capital-intensive and skilled labor-intensive and high-tech investment," Gou said.

On both occasions, he would not say whether he had met with the U.S. president.

Gou's presence in the White House has drawn the attention of international media. Reports said that Gou, accompanied by a delegation including Japan-based Sharp Corp. President Tai Cheng-wu (???), visited the White House and met with Trump.

The Hon Hai statement did not specify whether the meeting took place.

Tai used to be Gou's deputy in Hon Hai before he assumed the post of Sharp president following a deal in which the Taiwanese firm acquired a 66 percent stake in the Japanese subsidiary for US$3.5 billion in August 2016.

In the statement, Hon Hai confirmed its plan to invest in the U.S. market at a time when Trump advocated the "America First" approach, urging U.S. and foreign enterprises to invest in the country, create jobs for American workers and reach the goal of "Buy American and Hire American."

Hon Hai said that the company is surveying the U.S. market and studying possible locations for its future investments.

Hon Hai added that after it completes discussions on U.S. investments, finalizes a plan and secures approval from its board of directors and government authorities in Taiwan and the U.S., it will make a formal announcement.

The company is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

In late January, Gou said that it was likely for Hon Hai to set up a flat panel plant in the U.S. He said that if its clients such as Apple are willing to join forces with Hon Hai for the investment, the size could top US$7 billion.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel