NEC Shutting Irish Plant
Forbes and others are reporting that NEC Electronics has announced it will close its plant in Ireland in September, laying off 350 workers. The plant makes micro-controllers for automotive electronics. The work will be transfered to China, Malaysia, and Singapore, according to Kyodo. Some 150nm lithography equipment will also be moved from Sagamihara (Japan) to some plant in the US.
For the last decade or more, Ireland has been considered one of the EU's most attractive places to do high-tech manufacturing, due to a combination of wages, education, local infrastructure, and more. Now jobs are starting to leave because of high salaries? Tom Friedman would say it's globalization in action, and the "long-horn cattle" such as NEC move capital around more slowly than the "short-horn cattle" (day traders and other investors), but they do move it around in response to market forces. Did the strong euro hurt Ireland?