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Taiwan investment program inflows forecast to reach NT$230 billion in 2024

02/06/2024 09:05 PM
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Two robotic arms are displayed as smart manufacturing devices in this CNA file
Two robotic arms are displayed as smart manufacturing devices in this CNA file

Taipei, Fab. 6 (CNA) Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said Monday that fund flows into the "Three Major Programs for Investing in Taiwan" are expected to reach NT$230 billion (US$7.35 billion) in 2024, creating an estimated 19,000 new jobs.

At a press conference, Wang said that with the addition of 2024's expected total, investment in Taiwan via the three programs - the Action Plan for Welcoming Overseas Taiwanese Businesses to Return to Invest in Taiwan, the Action Plan for Accelerated Investment by Domestic Corporations, and the Action Plan for Accelerated Investment by SMEs - will have reached NT$2.4 trillion as of the end of 2024.

Benefiting from the AI boom and the fact that AI server manufacturers and their supply chains - such as Quanta Computer, Chenbro Micom Co., Aces Electronic Co., and Suen Cheng Enterprise Co. - moved their manufacturing back to Taiwan when the program first started, a supply chain for the AI-related industry has taken form and the involved companies have participated in the international clients' certification process, Wang added.

Regarding the foreign investment in Taiwan, Wang said Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML is building its new factory in Linkou starting this year, and Japanese electronics and semiconductor company Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL) is completing its operations center in the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan by the end of this year.

Also, Japan's semiconductor material provider Fujifilm announced plans in May for a new facility in Hsinchu and an expansion of existing production lines in Tainan, the minister said.

Other than semiconductor-related foreign investment, Wang said that the expansion of the offshore nacelle assembly facility of Simens Gamesa in Taichung - the first outside Germany - was completed in December 2023, with operations slated to start in the second quarter of 2024.

Wang said that the edge of the country's semiconductor industry in advanced manufacturing and the leading foreign corporations' investment in Taiwan has driven the buildup of the supply chain of IC design and packaging and testing, making Taiwan further indispensable in the world.

The government has also tabled policy measures - Article 10-2 of the Statute for Industrial Innovation that grants tax credit and the Taiwan Chip-based Industrial Innovation Program starting in 2024 - to help the companies hitch onto the advanced manufacturing, research and development, and the application of the AI chips.

ASML, Applied Materials, Lam Research, and TEL, the four semiconductor equipment giants, have all made great investments in Taiwan since the Investing in Taiwan program took off, with ASML starting its R&D of the next-generation wafer metrology system in Taiwan, Applied Materials launching its first combined display manufacturing and R&D center at Tainan's Southern Taiwan Science Park in 2019, Lam Research developing advanced etching equipment in Taiwan, and TEL setting up its operations center in Tainan.

Together with TSMC's advanced manufacturing technology, the incoming of the international leading materials and equipment companies will provide the local manufacturers and suppliers a good chance of joining the supply chain, "making it harder for Taiwan to be replaced," the minister reiterated.

Wang was also asked about the U.S. officials' visit in March to brief Taiwanese semiconductor suppliers on new export controls at the press conference.

The minister said the purpose of the U.S. officials' visit is similar to the one held in October last year, which was to help Taiwanese suppliers better understand the export controls, as the U.S. tightened the export controls on China last October, with the related regulations totaling about 400 pages.

(By Liu Chien-ling, Tseng Chi-yi, and Alison Hsiao)

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