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Foxconn planning to move iPad assembly to Brazil

$12bn investment could see company in South America by November

Foxconn, manufacturer of most Apple products, could move some of its operations to Brazil by November 2011, it is claimed.

Reuters reports that Foxconn is considering a $12bn (around £7.3bn) investment in the country that would involve moving iPad production to the South American country.

The Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, announced that the country's government was currently studying Foxconn's investment plan earlier this week.

Brazil is the world's eighth largest economy and it is thought that Foxconn's key customers - including HP as well as Apple - want Foxconn to move to Brazil to help them achieve better penetration in this key market.

Currently Brazil charges hefty import tariffs that means gadgets such as the iPad are nearly twice as expensive in Brazil than in the US.

Though the costs of running a manufacturing plant in Brazil would be higher than at Foxconn's existing plants in Shenzhen, China, avoiding these import duties would enable Foxconn's customers to reduce the price of their gadgets for end users.

According to Reuters, president Rousseff wants Brazil's ever-growing middle classes to get online, and sees tablet computing as an ideal way for them to do so, as it is relatively inexpensive.

Aloizio Mercadante, Brazil's science and technology minister, said negotiations had been taking place between the government and Foxconn for around three months and that he was confident that a deal would be struck.

If all goes to plan, Mercadente said that Foxconn could begin iPad assembly in Brazil as early as this November.

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