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Maybe I should have stayed in the Far East! That's what some of the 1,700 workers Atari fired this week may be thinking. Many of these workers are recent immigrants of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Philippine origin. They help build video games and home computers at Atari's Sunnyvale plant, in the heart of ''Silicon Valley.'' But they learned this week their jobs will be going to Hong Kong and Taiwan - 600 right away, 1,100 more by July. The company said the move was a ''necessary step to achieve manufacturing cost reductions.'' Wages for high tech assembly line jobs start at around $7 an hour in the US, compared with $3-$4 an hour Hong Kong.

Officials from Hong Kong have been in Silicon Valley, trying to lure American firms to the city. They recently invited 200 companies invited to a recent seminar - 60 showed up.m

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