Taiwan president warns of ‘volatile’ challenges facing the chip industry

Taiwan president warns of ‘volatile’ challenges facing the chip industry

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen warned that the semiconductor industry faces new and “volatile” challenges but said her government will work with the sector to overcome them.

Taiwan is home to the world’s largest chip maker, TSMC, a major producer of semiconductors used in everything from washing machines and cell phones to data centers and fighter jets.

“The continued success of the industry comes in the face of unprecedented global challenges of late, including significant uncertainty over supply chains,” Tsai said at an industry forum in Taipei late Wednesday, according to comments from her office.

“Even today, new challenges continue to emerge, making the situation more volatile. But as in the past, our government will work closely with the industry to get through these challenging times,” she added.

“Taiwan has repeatedly demonstrated its agility and resilience in meeting challenges and ensuring that our semiconductor industry maintains its leading position in the world.”

Tsai did not specify the challenges the industry faces, but since the COVID-19 pandemic began, one of the main problems has been a lack of chips that have hampered production of cars and some consumer electronics.

Global consumer demand is now falling due to rising inflation, recession fears in major western economies and the impact of the war in Ukraine, which could affect Taiwanese chip companies and the island’s export-oriented economy.

While the government has encouraged Taiwanese companies to build factories in the United States, Taiwan’s most important international backer, it has also worked to ensure that it maintains its leading global position.

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“When it comes to more advanced chips, Taiwan always leads the way,” Tsai said.

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