• Kyodo

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Audio equipment maker Aiwa Co. will shut down its research and development center in Singapore and lay off 249 workers, Aiwa Singapore Ltd. said Monday.

The subsidiary of the struggling company said high costs have made it difficult to sustain profitability.

About 290 workers are currently employed at the Singapore subsidiary. The firm revealed that most of the workers who face layoffs are in its research and development division and its international parts procurement division.

The workers employed in the R&D facility, established by Aiwa in 1988, are mainly engineers who graduated from universities or polytechnics.

The move is in line with a restructuring plan formulated by Aiwa to deal with the global economic slowdown.

The center’s closure will mainly hit its Singaporean employees, although some Chinese, Indian and Malaysian workers will also be affected.

Aiwa Singapore said it will retain its international parts center and its logistics and electromagnetic compatibility center in Singapore.

“Only profitable functions or where jobs can be more effectively performed here will remain,” it said.

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