3Com opens $70m plant in Singapore

3Com has opened a 330,000-square-foot manufacturing plant here to supply its 23 regional offices with products ranging from network interface cards (NICs) and modems to personal organisers.

The plant is 3Com's first manufacturing facility in the Asia-Pacific region, where it claims to be the leader in the combined market of hubs, routers, switches and NICs, with a 27 per cent share.

The $US70 million plant, one of the first major manufacturing facilities established in Asia by a major networking vendor, will build 3Com products, such as EtherLink network interface cards, 3Com/US Robotics modems, SuperStack hubs and other desktop and LAN-switching products. The plant will also churn out 3Com's Total Control remote access concentrators and its PalmPilot and Palm III handheld organisers.

Speaking at the plant's opening, Singapore's minister of trade and industry Lee Yock Suan said the investment supports the consensus that networking has remained a high growth industry, fuelled by increasing global demand for data networking, telecommunications and Internet services. Lee estimated that the global networking equipment industry would grow from $30 billion this year to $50 billion by the year 2000.

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