(Adds $1.5 bln investment value, background)
SEOUL/HANOI, April 7 (Reuters) - South Korea’s LG Display Co Ltd will invest $1.5 billion in Vietnam to build its first organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens plant, aiming to start production in the second half of 2017, the company and Vietnamese authorities said.
The firm said on Wednesday the display module assembly plant will be built in Hai Phong, a major port city in Northeastern Vietnam, but it did not disclose how much it plans to invest in the plant.
The Hai Phong authority said in a statement the LG project was worth $1.5 billion and construction would start in May.
The expansion comes amid similar moves by electronics firms operating in Vietnam, which include Samsung, Microsoft, Intel, Canon, Panasonic and Toshiba, helped by new free trade pacts and cheaper wages than China.
LG Display, which supplies smartphone screens to clients such as Apple Inc and LG Electronics Inc, said comparatively lower salaries in Vietnam and the country’s proximity to China were the key reasons for deciding to build the plant in the country.
Another LG unit, LG Electronics Inc, the world’s second largest television maker after Samsung Electronics, said last year it will soon shift its TV production in Thailand to Vietnam for logistical ease and efficiency. (Reporting by Se Young Lee in Seoul and Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Richard Pullin and Stephen Coates)