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Premier pledges to place Taiwan at heart of high-tech global supply chains

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Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday pledged to help industries adopt 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies following the launch of 5G services in Taiwan June 30. The government will also support up-, mid- and downstream sections of the materials and equipment supply chains to build a comprehensive semiconductor industry cluster that will put Taiwan at the heart of the world's supply chains.

The premier's remarks were made after a Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) briefing on plans to transform Taiwan into Asia's high-tech manufacturing center and an advanced semiconductor manufacturing center.

The U.S.-China trade war and the coronavirus pandemic have triggered the rapid reconfiguration of global supply chains, leading many high-end product manufacturers to return to Taiwan, Premier Su said. To capture early opportunities, the government has formulated several initiatives, including an expansion to the A+ Industrial Innovative R&D Program, a display technology and applications action plan, as well as today's high-end manufacturing center and advanced semiconductor manufacturing center plans presented by the MOEA. These efforts will help Taiwan bring about economic transformation and industrial innovation, and reinvent itself in a changing world.

With 5G service having begun in Taiwan, the nation heads into the new 5G era along with the U.S., Japan and South Korea, Premier Su said. The premier instructed the MOEA and other ministries and agencies involved to pick up the pace by making the most of Taiwan's tech advantages and key technologies, bringing together industry associations, helping enterprises to integrate 5G and AI into operations, and developing plans for innovative applications and solutions.

Also on order was support for domestic upstream, midstream and downstream materials and equipment supply chains so that materials production can be localized, Taiwan made technologically self-sufficient, and advanced equipment manufactured in-country. These steps will benefit the full development of domestic semiconductor clusters, help the nation capture a core position in global supply chains, draw more foreign investors to cooperate with local businesses, and bolster industries' competitiveness, said Premier Su.

According to the MOEA, Taiwan's semiconductor industry recorded annual production value of NT$2.7 trillion (US$91.2 billion) in 2019, the second highest in the world. Statistics also show that the nation's semiconductor equipment and materials manufacturers accounted for 28 percent and 22 percent of global demand, respectively. In the future the government will build out more fully developed semiconductor industrial clusters to shape Taiwan into a center for advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes, and achieve the 2030 objective of raising annual industry output to NT$5 trillion (US$168.9 billion).

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