Your next Nikon SLR could be part Laotian


posted Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 7:43 PM EST

We all know where our favorite camera brands hail from, but have you ever looked at the sticker on the bottom of your camera to see where it was made? If not, you might be in for a surprise. Like so many products these days, digital cameras are often produced in a completely different country to the manufacturer's corporate headquarters. Especially for consumer SLRs, you're more likely to see China, Taiwan, Thailand, or the Philippines on the label than you are to find your camera was assembled in Japan.

Another Southeast Asian country will soon play its part, thanks to an announcement from Nikon Corp. today, although it may not appear on the product label. Nikon has revealed that it is establishing a new factory in the Lao People's Democratic Republic, better known as Laos. The Japanese manufacturer is investing approximately 6.3 million US dollars in the project, and expects to have around 800 employees in a 10,000 square meter facility once production begins.

The Nikon D3200, like many DSLRs, is assembled outside Japan.

The factory will be located in the Savan-Seno Special Economic Zone in the southern province of Savannakhét, close to the border with Thailand, a country in which the company already has much of its production. The press release suggests that the new facility will not produce complete cameras, but rather will make DSLR subassemblies that will be shipped to Thailand for final assembly.

Production at the Laotian factory will begin from October 2013, and it will be operated under the aegis of Nikon Thailand.