Five industry associations and four industry-related nonprofit organizations yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding to promote the localization of semiconductor equipment production.
At the signing ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan Machine Tool and Accessory Builders’ Association (台灣工具機暨零組件公會) chairman Habor Hsu (許文憲) said that Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is overwhelmingly dependent on imported production equipment.
“We have a world-leading semiconductor industry in Taiwan, but 90 percent of our semiconductor manufacturing equipment is imported,” Hsu said.
It is time to step up the output of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, he said.
“In the wake of COVID-19 and the US-China trade dispute, international businesses will change where and how they make their products,” Hsu said.
Other trade associations that signed the memorandum were Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI, 國際半導體設備與材料產業協會), the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association (台灣電子設備協會), and the Photonics Industry and Technology Development Association (光電科技工業協進會).
The Taiwan Automation Intelligence and Robotics Association (台灣智慧自動化與機器人協會), the Metal Industries Research and Development Center (金屬工業研究發展中心) and the Precision Machinery Research and Development Center (精密機械研究發展中心) were the signatories from the nonprofit sector.
Taiwan is the world’s largest buyer of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and might this year spend up to US$62.3 billion on the equipment,” SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) said.
“The most important task at hand is to convince international industry leaders to expand their operations to Taiwan,” Tsao said. “This can be the maintenance and repair of components or the assembly of secondary systems. This will create a point of contact that will allow Taiwanese equipment manufacturers to find a new market.”
Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said that the government is planning to make Taiwan an “advanced semiconductor production center.”
“The first step is encouraging foreign semiconductor equipment companies to make more of their products here,” Shen said. “We hope that this cross-industry alliance will encourage more international companies to invest in Taiwan.”
Shen said that as Taiwan’s three science parks are operating at almost full capacity, it is time to add a fourth or even a fifth park to support the growth of its semiconductor production chain.
“In the past, too much of the development was focused in the north of Taiwan. Going forward, we are looking for a more even regional development,” Shen said.
However, there are “no concrete plans” for additional science parks yet, he added.
“The paramount issue is securing land and water,” Shen said.
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