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Singapore wants a byte of the semiconductor pie amid US-China tensions

TSMC Semiconductor

As tensions between the United States and China continue to escalate over trade and technology, Singapore is looking to capitalize on the growing demand for semiconductor assembly and integrated circuit (IC) design. According to the Economic Development Board (EDB) chairman Dr. Beh Swan Gin, Singapore will focus on the semiconductor value chain of activities and secure its fair share of investments, reports Bloomberg.

The U.S.'s CHIPS Act, which aims to bring back manufacturing and technology development to the US and counter China's economic influence, has intensified competition for investments. Despite this, Singapore attracted a record $22.5 billion in fixed asset investment commitments in 2022 in addition to design-related chip jobs that are growing steadily.

Dr. Beh added, "We are a small country so, in a way, the share of the pie that we need to ensure to continue to develop our economy is relatively small."

According to the EDB, Singapore is expected to continue attracting mature nodes and wafer fabs. While the city-state may not repeat its 2022 performance in terms of investments, the country's focus on the semiconductor value chain of activities is expected to help secure a fair share of investments and maintain its position as a significant player in the global semiconductor industry.

The semiconductor industry has become a crucial part of the global economy, with an increasing number of countries and unions seeking to secure their share of investments in the sector. In addition to Singapore, many other countries are also trying to gain traction in the semiconductor manufacturing industry.

Last year on August 9, the U.S. Department of Commerce introduced the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, to strengthen the domestic semiconductor industry by providing $50 billion as part of a $280 billion investment in research and advanced technological manufacturing. The act propelled many companies to build fabs and development centers in the U.S. TSMC's fabs in Arizona are already under construction, while other companies including Intel have announced similar plans.

In Asia, South Asian countries like Vietnam and India are also actively seeking to gain a foothold in the semiconductor industry. Vietnam has seen significant investment in its semiconductor industry while India has also announced plans to increase its semiconductor manufacturing capabilities. The India Semiconductor Mission has been created as an independent business division within Digital India Corporation to drive India's strategies for developing semiconductors and display manufacturing ecosystems.

Source: Bloomberg

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