Taiwan not a fan of chip production on EU soil

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For the time being, there seem to be no plans for TSMC to carry out semiconductor production within the EU. Taiwan wants to keep this on its own soil as much as possible.

Wang Mei-hua, the Taiwanese Minister of Finance, has made it clear that she has little interest in the idea of Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturers building factories within the European Union, Reuters reports. According to Wang, TSMC will focus its most advanced technologies on the island.

“TSMC has said repeatedly that the most advanced technology will definitely be (produced) mainly in Taiwan,” she said. “As for how Taiwan and the EU can cooperate, companies have their arrangements and considerations, and it can be further discussed.”

Attempts to attract TSMC to EU

In doing so, Taiwan is going directly against the EU’s wishes to attract more semiconductor production to the continent. Last week, EU Ambassador to Taiwan Filip Grzegorzewski announced the EU’s intention to establish an investment forum on the island later this year in order to market the continent as an attractive place to invest. In concrete terms, the intention was to tempt semiconductor companies to build chip factories in Europe. However, the focus was not only on TSMC. “Taiwan has more than TSMC to offer,” Grzegorzewski said. “There are other excellent semiconductor companies in Taiwan.”

European Commissioner Thierry Breton is keen to see the EU build more sovereignty in chip production, especially now that European car manufacturers such as Volkswagen are in a pinch because they cannot get enough chips for their cars.

Taiwan holding off Europe

Wang says he has not had direct contact with the EU on the subject in the past two weeks. “But in our talks with the EU, industrial cooperation has always been an important topic. It’s not just limited to semiconductors, it’s on broader industrial cooperation.”

Despite TSMC clearly keeping its focus on chip factories on its home island, the company does have plans to expand production beyond Taiwan’s borders. The company already has several factories in China and it recently announced plans to build a factory in the US state of Arizona.

Tip: Intel CEO comes to Europe next week to talk about new chip factory