Five foreign semiconductor and pharmaceutical companies are to invest more than NT$11 billion (US$336.9 million) in Taiwan in the next three years, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
To encourage more foreign companies to invest in Taiwan, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Bill Cho (卓士昭) led a delegation on a visit to 11 companies in the US and Canada from Aug. 8 to Tuesday last week.
“We inked letters of intent with five of the 11 companies, including semiconductor equipment manufacturer S-Cubed Inc and Pharmascience Inc,” Cho told a press conference in Taipei.
Vivian Lien (連玉蘋), director-general of the ministry’s Department of Investment Services, said this was the second year in a row that S-Cubed signed a letter of intent with the ministry.
The semiconductor equipment manufacturer last year invested NT$500 million in a logistics center in Taiwan, as part of the firm’s efforts to expand its reach in the Asian market, Lien said.
S-Cubed’s clients include Taiwanese chip packaging and testing services providers Siliconware Precision Industries Co (矽品精密) and Powertech Technology Inc (力成), she said.
After investing in a logistics center, S-Cubed plans to invest another NT$500 million to set up a research and development (R&D) as well as manufacturing center in the nation, Lien said.
Apart from S-Cubed, Lien said that Canadian IC solutions provider Sidense Corp, gaming developer Ubisoft Montreal Inc and Pharmacience also said they would like to establish R&D centers in Taiwan, Lien said.
The companies cited “Taiwan’s complete supply chains, industry clusters and pool of talent” as the main reasons for establishing R&D centers in the nation, she said.
Lien said the government in May amended regulations to encourage foreign companies to invest in such centers, offering a subsidy of up to 50 percent of their R&D investment if the centers are established through strategic partnerships with Taiwanese companies.
Although General Electric Co (GE) did not ink a letter of intent with the ministry, the US company is to invest an additional NT$1.5 billion into its joint venture with Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corp (長榮航太科技) — GE Evergreen Engines Services (長異發動機維修), Lien said.
Moreover, GE plans to spend NT$2.7 billion to purchase aviation and medical equipment from Taiwan in the next three years, she added.
Foreign direct investment totaled US$5.75 billion last year, but reached only US$1.98 billion in the first half of this year, Investment Commission figures showed.
As part of the ministry’s efforts to boost foreign investment, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Yang Wei-fu (楊偉甫) last month led a delegation to Japan, followed by Cho’s visit to the US and Canada.
Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) is to lead a delegation to Germany, Switzerland and Finland next month, Lien said.
POTENTIAL SETBACK: Although Chinese chip designers and foundry firms already have US EDA software, they might be unable to update those programs under new US rules The US’ latest ban on advanced electronic design automation (EDA) software exports to China might hinder Chinese chip companies from accessing advanced semiconductor technology, as they attempt to upgrade to 3-nanometer processes in the next three to five years, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday. The US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security on Friday announced bans on EDA tools for gate-all-around field-effect transistors (GAAFET), a new-generation semiconductor technology that US chipmaker Intel Corp and Samsung Electronics Co from South Korea are adopting to make 4-nanometer and 3-nanometer chips. The bureau in a statement said that gate-all-around field-effect transistor
WIDENING THE FIELD: Human resources managers must drop prejudices regarding gender, appearance and age to find the best candidates, Micro Technology said The job market for Taiwan’s semiconductor industry remained tight this quarter, as hiring activity slowed from a record high last quarter, a survey released yesterday by online human resource firm 104 Job Bank (104人力銀行) showed. Ongoing labor shortages have prompted local semiconductor firms to recruit more women and foreigners in Taiwan and in Southeast Asia, the job bank said. The talent gap in the first quarter reached 35,000 people per month, a surge of 39.8 percent from the same period last year, as the contactless economy and digital transformation shore up demand for semiconductors, 104 Job Bank said in its annual report
POSITIVE CULTURE: Pursuing 12-inch wafers earlier than peers helped TSMC lead the industry, said a former executive, whose main regret was working for SMIC in China Corporate culture at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is what made the chipmaker a leading player in the global industry, a former executive said in an interview with California’s Computer History Museum. “One of the really important reasons that TSMC succeeded” is the culture at the firm, where “if equipment went down at two o’clock in the morning, we just called an equipment engineer,” and the worker would not complain, said former TSMC joint chief operating officer Chiang Shan-yi (蔣尚義). “We didn’t really do anything special, anything great, but we didn’t make any major mistakes,” when compared with competitors, such
DISMAL OUTLOOK: A Citigroup analyst predicted firms face ‘the worst semiconductor downturn in at least a decade,’ due to inventory build and the potential of a recession Semiconductor stocks tumbled after Micron Technology Inc became the latest chipmaker to warn about slowing demand, triggering concern that the industry is heading into a painful downturn. In the US on Tuesday, the Philadelphia semiconductor index sank 4.6 percent, with all 30 members in the red, its biggest drop in about two months. In Asia, chip stocks from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) to Samsung Electronics Co, SK Hynix Inc and Tokyo Electron Ltd slumped. Investors are growing increasingly skittish as the notoriously cyclical industry is hurtling toward a prolonged slump after years of widespread shortages that led to heavy