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Global Management Forum 2021

COVID sets back Iris Ohyama's push into Southeast Asia

Region requires close watching for now despite its growth potential, chairman says

Irish Ohyama Chairman Kentaro Ohyama says he won't change the company's goal of raising its share of overseas sales to 50% despite the U.S.-China trade war and the COVID crisis in Southeast Asia. (Photo by Shihoko Nakaoka) 

TOKYO -- Japanese appliance and household goods maker Iris Ohyama's plan to build a production plant in Vietnam had to be pushed back after the country's economy was brought to a standstill by the COVID outbreak, its chairman told Nikkei Asia in an interview on Tuesday.

The outbreak in Vietnam was blamed on slow progress with vaccination, making it necessary for the country to impose a lockdown from July to September. This forced some workers to sleep in their factories instead of commuting from home, which disrupted production, creating shortages of semiconductors and other key components for global automakers and electronics makers.

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