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Foxconn to swim against protectionist tide, chairman says

Terry Gou plans to accelerate Taiwanese manufacturer's global expansion

TAIPEI -- Hon Hai Precision Industry will continue investing abroad and cultivating new markets despite rising protectionism worldwide, Chairman Terry Gou told shareholders in an annual report.

Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou

Even with leading economic powers increasingly looking after only their own interests and trying to rebuild trade barriers, the Taiwanese company must strengthen its global strategy, Gou explained in the report looking back at fiscal 2016 and laying out plans for this fiscal year.

The contract electronics manufacturer, also known as Foxconn, will persist in pursuing cross-border investment and build a global supply system, the chairman said. It is considering such big investments as a new U.S. plant to make liquid crystal displays.

The report also highlighted progress on turning around Sharp, the troubled Japanese electronics maker that Foxconn acquired last year. A growing number of traditional Japanese giants face difficulty, according to Gou. But Sharp, working closely with Foxconn on everything from sales to research and development to production, returned to profitability in an extremely short time, the chairman noted with pride.

Sharp will be an important strategic partner that will help drive the group's future progress, Gou said in the report.

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