Samsung Electronics has held an opening ceremony for a research and development center in Vietnam, in what the tech giant said is the largest such facility in the Southeast Asian country set up by a foreign firm.

“I expect the R&D center to contribute to Vietnam’s industrial competitiveness and to the relationship between South Korea and Vietnam,” Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-Yong said at the opening ceremony in Hanoi, reports Yonhap news agency.

The ceremony was attended by Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Science and Technology Minister Huynh Thanh Dat, and senior Samsung executives, including Roh Tae-moon, president and head of mobile business at Samsung Electronics, and Choi Joo-sun, president and CEO of Samsung Display.

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A total of 2,200 employees will work at the US$220 million, 16-story R&D center to research and develop software and technologies for mobile phones and other smart and network devices, the company said, adding it will make the center become Samsung’s global technology foothold for wireless devices.

Samsung made inroads into Vietnam in 1989, when Samsung C&T Corp., the construction unit of Samsung Group, set up a trade office there. Samsung Electronics officially established its Vietnam office in Ho Chi Minh City in 1995.

Since establishing a mobile phone manufacturing plant in Bac Ninh, north Vietnam, in 2008, Samsung has been more aggressively investing in the country to become one of the largest foreign investors in Southeast Asian country.

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Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest mobile phone maker, operates two smartphone plants that are responsible for more than half of Samsung’s global smartphone shipments.