UPDATE 3-Intel closes Costa Rica operation, cuts 1,500 jobs
(Adds comment from Costa Rica president elect)
By Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO, April 8 (Reuters) - Chipmaker Intel, struggling with a shrinking personal computer market, is shutting its assembly and test operation in Costa Rica and eliminating 1,500 jobs, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
The closure of the site, which is a significant contributor to Costa Rica's exports, falls within a larger plan announced by the chipmaker earlier this year to cut spending as it attempts to grow beyond PCs into the mobile market.
"It's being closed and consolidated into our other operations throughout the world," spokesman Chuck Mulloy said of the assembly and test operations in Costa Rica.
During the next two quarters, Intel will move assembly and testing from its site in Heredia, where it has been present since 1997, to existing sites in China, Malaysia and Vietnam, Mulloy said.
Costa Rica President Elect Luis Guillermo Solis met with Intel executives on Tuesday morning and they assured him the decision had nothing to do with the election of his new government on Sunday, according to a statement from Guillermo's office.
"The decision bears no relation to the election of the new Costa Rica government or the market conditions for...potential foreign investment," the statement said.
Intel will continue to have over 1,000 engineers, finance and human resources employees in Costa Rica and do some research and development there. The chipmaker expects to add another 200 "high-value positions" in Costa Rica later this year, Mulloy said. Continuación...