TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua will visit the United States next week to respond to what her office called “concerns” about supply chains and geopolitical issues and will also visit U.S. tech firms that are major customers of Taiwanese semiconductor companies.
A global semiconductor shortage has thrust chip powerhouse Taiwan into the spotlight and made supply chain management a bigger priority for governments around the world.
Taiwan’s position as a major chip producer has prompted worries in the United States it is too reliant on the island, especially at a time when China is ramping up military drills to assert its sovereignty claims.
Wang’s ministry said on Friday that she would leave on Sunday for a week-long trip to promote more frequent exchanges with the United States and cooperate on global business opportunities.
She will also go “to respond to the concerns of sides about the recent supply chain resilience and geopolitical issues through interaction and exchanges on the U.S. side”, it added in a statement.
Wang will meet with U.S. companies and chambers of commerce on ways to strengthen supply chain cooperation, the ministry said.
“In addition, she will also visit industry giants headquartered in Silicon Valley and closely connected to Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain to have communications, continue to attract investment and consolidate Taiwan’s supply chain security and resilience.”
The ministry did not name the companies she would visit or any U.S. officials she might meet, although it did say she would be in Washington on Oct. 12-14 for an exhibition on Taiwanese products.
Taiwan is home to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, the world’s largest contract chipmaker and a major supplier to companies including Apple Inc.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has said that the island is committed to ensuring its partners have reliable supplies of semiconductors and has urged allies to boost collaboration amid intensified threats from China.
But the government has also vowed to maintain Taiwan’s dominant chip-making position.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard)