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Taiwanese team visits Mohali, Gujarat to identify sites for semiconductor units

A delegation of semiconductor manufacturers from Taiwan visited Chandigarh and Gujarat this week as part of an exercise to identify potential sites for setting up units in India, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The team, which was led by Taiwanese officials, visited the Dholera smart city in Gujarat and the Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL) at Mohali during its four-day visit, the people said. The team also had meetings with Indian authorities, who briefed the members on the Indian government’s semiconductor mission, announced last December, which envisages production-linked incentives (PLIs) worth ₹76,000 crore or around $10 billion for the entire supply chain.

There was no official word from both sides on the delegation’s visit. An Indian government official said on condition of anonymity that New Delhi welcomes all foreign investments in line with the laws of the land and Taiwan is not an exception.

India has business relations with Taiwan and, for example, there is a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the ministry of agriculture and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre of Taiwan for cooperation in agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries and food processing, the official said.

Taiwan is critical for the world’s semiconductor supply chain. Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (PSMC), the world’s sixth-largest contract chipmaker and the third biggest in Taiwan, was part of the delegation.

HT first reported on July 21 that Taiwan will send a delegation of semiconductor manufacturers to India to take forward cooperation in the crucial sector, including possible collaboration under the PLI programme for large-scale electronics manufacturing.

The visit by the Taiwanese delegation was a follow-up to two visits from the Indian side and several meetings held since last year to discuss collaboration in making the chips required for electronics items, communications devices, health care systems, and motor vehicles, people familiar with the matter said.

The visit helped Taiwanese firms to gain first-hand knowledge of possible sites for setting up units in India and other local conditions, a second person said.

India and Taiwan earlier held talks that linked a free trade agreement to the creation of a semiconductor manufacturing hub in the country. Last year, the two sides set up four groups that focused on creating a semiconductor hub, training highly specialised manpower needed for the industry, a bilateral investment agreement, and a free trade agreement.

“Some successful efforts have been made in the past in this direction. A high-level Indian delegation attended the India-Taiwan SME Development Forum at Taipei in November 2018,” the official said.

“Taiwanese firms are welcome in India for both investments and technology transfers in sectors such as electronics, auto components and automobiles,” the official added.

India exports naphtha, minerals, refined copper cathodes, ferrochromium, zinc, aluminium and pig iron to Taiwan, and imports polyvinyl chloride, flat-rolled products of alloyed steel, electronic integrated circuits, accessories of machines, solar cells, digital cameras and voice transmission machines.

India and Taiwan established representative offices in each other’s capitals in 1995. A second Taipei Economic and Cultural Center was established in Chennai in 2012. Taiwan is India’s 16th largest trading partner and annual bilateral trade is worth about $7 billion. Hindustan Times

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