Taiwan keen to cooperate with the EU on chipset industry plan

Taiwan EU
REUTERS/Pichi Chuang/File Photo

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s government believes there is “enormous” room for cooperation with the European Union on semiconductors, responding to plans from the EU to boost its chip industry and cut its dependence on US and Asian supplies.

The EU’s plan mentions Taiwan, home to the world’s largest contract chipmaker TSMC and other leading semiconductor companies, as one of the “like-minded partners” Europe would like to work with.

The plan, unveiled on Tuesday, calls for the European Commission to ease funding rules for innovative semiconductor plants, a move that comes as a global chip shortage and supply chain bottlenecks have created havoc for many industries.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement it was pleased to see the strong momentum in bilateral trade and investment between Taiwan and the EU, and welcomed the EU attaching so much importance to the island.

It is convinced that “in the post-pandemic era, Taiwan and the EU have enormous room for cooperation in the restructuring of global supply chains such as semiconductors, industrial recovery, and strengthening of democratic resilience”.

Taiwan will build on its friendly relations with the EU to deepen their partnership, the ministry added.

TSMC, which said last month it was still in the very early stages of assessing a potential fab in Europe, declined to comment on the European chip legislation. TSMC is spending $12 billion on chip factories in the United States.

In one wrinkle for EU ambitions, Taiwan’s GlobalWafers Co Ltd failed this month in a 4.35 billion euro ($5 billion) takeover attempt of German chip supplier Siltronic.

Neither the EU nor its member states have formal diplomatic relations with Chinese-claimed Taiwan, but the bloc has been keen to show its support for the island, especially as China-EU ties sour over trade and human rights disputes.

($1 = 0.8752 euros)

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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