Call for new chip sector regulations

By Kevin Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sat, Apr 21, 2007 - Page 11

Taiwan should speed up its internal discussions on the future development of its semiconductor industry and formulate new regulations for this strategic segment, the US-Taiwan Business Council said on Thursday.

The Washington-based non-profit organization said in a statement that the new regulations were necessary because a number of mergers and acquisitions involving the nation's technology sector were under way or being considered.

"These regulations should include a thorough, transparent, and straightforward process for mergers and acquisitions in Taiwan's technology sector," the council said, citing its Semiconductor Report -- First Quarter 2007.

The council's remark came after US buyout firm Carlyle Group announced on Tuesday it would withdraw a bid to buy Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (日月光半導體), the world's largest chip-packager and tester.

The council said a lengthy review process in the chip sector added costs and delays that could further inhibit foreign investors from even considering Taiwan.

Rupert Hammond-Chambers, the council's president, warned that the efforts of Taiwanese companies to become industry leaders through partnerships with global capital would be compromised by the nation's policies on investment in China and the lack of a formal process for acquisitions.

"Increased merger and acquisition activity in the semiconductor industry would have a positive impact, as it would increase the overall value of Taiwan's economy as well as increase the capital at its disposal," Hammond-Chambers said in the statement.