The European Union will invest more than USD 110,000 million to produce semiconductors and avoid dependence on Asia

Semiconductor chips on a computer circuit board (Reuters) (FLORENCE LO /)

The European Union will invest “more than 100,000 million” euros (about 110,000 million dollars) to produce electronic chipsdeclared Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, on Thursday.

This announcement is part of the European strategy to increase the production of semiconductors up to 20% of global capacity by 2030. Europe has drastically reduced its production capacity in recent years and, with it, has increased its dependence on Asian producersmarket leaders: Taiwan (where 90% of the world’s most advanced chips are produced), South Korea and, increasingly, China.

More than 100,000 million investments are planned in European territory”, the European commissioner told the French radio station RTL. “We will keep our goal, we can even reach it in advance”, added Thierry Breton.

“Today there are more than 68 projects in 19 countries that will allow us to recover our competitiveness and also our strategic autonomy”, summed up the commissioner.

So far, some 43,000 million euros have been allocated to subsidies to the “Chip Law”voted this year by the EU.

Employees on a semiconductor assembly line in the Netherlands (via Reuters)
Employees on a semiconductor assembly line in the Netherlands (via Reuters) (Bart van Overbeeke Fotografie/AS/)

This new figure comes two days after the announcement of the establishment of the first European factory of the Taiwanese electronic chip giant TSMC in Dresden, in eastern Germany.

Like Asia and the United States, the EU wants achieve autonomy in the crucial sector of semiconductors, which are now part of the composition of most everyday objectssuch as vehicles, smartphones or connected objects.

The COVID pandemic, which paralyzed supply chains in Asia in 2020, led to a shortage of these inputs, essential for many common objects (telephones, household appliances) and for data centers, among many other uses. This strategy also seeks to protect the continent from geopolitical shocks, after the war in Ukraine, which has revealed the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas.

It is about “finding the production capacity in European territory for the microprocessors we need,” Breton explained.

“We had this capacity 30 years ago, little by little we were losing it to the benefit of Asia (…) until we produced only 9% of the world capacity,” he explained.

“We can no longer continue living with a kind of naivety saying that, ultimately, it is the only market that wins”, but rather “we must support these investments” which “are very large”, defended the European commissioner.

(With information from AFP)

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