Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花) returned from Japan on Saturday, where she held talks on bilateral cooperation, including semiconductors and electric vehicles (EVs), the economic affairs ministry said. .
Wang arrived in Japan on Aug. 28 to witness the signing of a semiconductor supply chain partnership memorandum of understanding between the Taiwan-Japan Industrial Collaboration Promotion Office and Japan’s Kumamoto Prefecture.
The bureau and the prefecture will also collaborate in the development of interdisciplinary innovation, the ministry said.
Japanese suppliers of materials and semiconductor production equipment have been keen to invest in Taiwan, he said, citing a plan by Sumco Corp, the world’s second-largest silicon wafer maker, and Formosa. Plastics Group (台塑集團).
The two companies have agreed to invest 28.2 billion Taiwan dollars (921.93 million US dollars) in a 12-inch silicon wafer factory in Mailiao Township (麥寮), Yunlin County. Production is expected to start in 2024.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and two Japanese companies also plan to build a factory, which is expected to start mass production in 2024, the ministry said.
The factory would manufacture specialized chips using TSMC’s mature 22-nanometer and 28-nanometer technologies.
Taiwan leads its peers in the development of high-end semiconductor technologies, and if Japanese suppliers of materials and semiconductor production equipment continue to cooperate with Taiwan, the two countries could strengthen their advantage. competitive in the global market, Wang said in a statement.
To strengthen bilateral relations, Wang visited the Japan Business Federation, a major trade group, and several companies, including Sumco, Canon Inc, electricity supplier Jera Co, Mitsui Chemicals Inc, Panasonic Corp and IT solutions provider NEC Corp.
Asked by Japanese companies about a talent shortage in Taiwan, Wang vowed to expand talent exchanges and training between Taiwan and Japan to ensure the semiconductor supply chain is more resilient.
Taiwan excels in IC design, as well as electronic hardware and software development with respect to intellectual property rights, Wang said.
It can also react quickly to sudden market changes, allowing the country to produce critical components for electric vehicle use, she said.
Taiwan and Japan could aim for a bigger share of the global smart electric vehicle market through cooperation in car electronics, smart cabins and 5G and internet connections in vehicles, she added.
Wang also sees business opportunities in reducing carbon emissions as part of the government’s goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the ministry said.
During her visit, she explored the use of hydrogen to reduce thermal power generation and reduce carbon emissions in Taiwan.
The promotion office was established by the ministry in March last year to speed up the pace of industrial cooperation between Taipei and Tokyo.
Japan and Taiwan have since strengthened cooperation in semiconductor development, the ministry said.
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