Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday.
Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei.
Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said.
Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
Many Taiwanese manufacturers of such equipment are small and medium enterprises, which often encounter resource shortages, she said, adding that the government would provide manufacturers with resource assistance and encourage more businesses to manufacture the needed equipment.
Taiwan’s semiconductor industry output in 2020 was valued at NT$90.7 billion (US$3.29 billion), which last year grew 28.7 percent to NT$116.7 billion, she said.
It was the product of a collaboration between the association, businesses and the government, she said.
The domestic chip industry last year invested NT$1 trillion in semiconductor fabs, with chip manufacturing equipment accounting for 70 percent of the costs, she said.
The majority of that equipment — or about NT$600 billion of the investment — were purchased from overseas, she said.
“That shows there is a large area for growth in the domestic industry. We must improve efforts to make that equipment locally,” she said.
“The association has also been pushing for Taiwanese companies to make manufacturing equipment for the international market, and there has been important progress in that area,” she added.
Citing an example, Tsai said that Taiwanese companies have signed memorandums of understanding with businesses in Japan’s Oita and Kumamoto prefectures.
Tsai said that she hoped Taiwan could become an advanced semiconductor manufacturing center.
Among key strategies are to push for local manufacturing of commercial equipment and advanced packaging equipment, she said.
“It is our hope that through continued cooperation between government and industry, we can make Taiwan’s electronic equipment industry more internationally competitive,” she said.
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