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 chairman Habor Hsu 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), the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association, and the Photonics Industry and Technology Development Association.
The Taiwan Automation Intelligence and Robotics Association, the Metal Industries Research and Development Center, and the Precision Machinery Research and Development Center 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 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 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.
Nina Lin (email@example.com)