EU seeks greater Taiwanese investment as chip shortage bites

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels

TAIPEI (Reuters) - The European Union is seeking to encourage greater investment from Taiwan especially its semiconductor firms, the bloc's top diplomat in Taipei said on Tuesday, amid a global chip shortage that has impacted auto makers like Volkswagen.

Tech powerhouse Taiwan, home to companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), has become front and centre of efforts to resolve that shortfall, whose impact is now being felt in consumer electronics too.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier wrote to Taiwan's government this year asking for help to ease tight chip supplies, and Europe is also encouraging more chip production at home.

Filip Grzegorzewski, the EU's de facto ambassador in Taiwan, told reporters they will organise another investment forum later this year to sell the bloc as an investment destination.

"We want to organise another round of the European investment forum in the autumn, with the focus on global supply chains, the focus on digital and the focus on semiconductors," he said.

"I'm sure it will be a way for us to present opportunities for Taiwan to reach out to Europe and be more present in Europe."

Taiwan is a key part of global supply chains and a major trading partner of the EU's, Grzegorzewski said.

"We need to now make sure that Taiwan uses its assets well ... Taiwan has more than TSMC to offer. There are other excellent semiconductor companies in Taiwan," he said.

There needs to be "more of Taiwan in Europe" and for the island's business community to think of the opportunities the EU brings, which will also be good for Taiwan, he added.

"It will strengthen Taiwan's role globally and that will also strengthen Taiwan's role in the global supply chains that are now evolving, changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

The European Union has no official diplomatic ties with the Chinese-claimed, democratically-run island, though Taiwan considers the bloc to be an important like-minded friend.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Stephen Coates)