Buoyed by a major semiconductor investment in north Phoenix, business interests representing Arizona and Taiwan have pledged greater cooperation on industrial issues including development of the semiconductor, medical device and advanced-manufacturing sectors.
The Taiwan-USA Industrial Cooperation Promotion Office on Aug. 24 signed a memorandum of understanding with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, pledging to foster a closer partnership. It follows the planned $12 billion factory in north Phoenix announced by industry powerhouse Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
It’s the first memorandum of understanding with any nation for GPEC, a nonprofit economic development organization that seeks to attract and grow businesses in Maricopa County and nearby areas.
The agreement doesn’t spell out any specific future projects or actions but stresses cooperation in developing next-generation products, spurring investment and attracting businesses in related industries to join.
The agreement comes as metro Phoenix received a relatively high ranking, ninth nationally, for technology-industry employment. The study by SmartAsset acknowledged that metro Phoenix has a relatively high percentage of job listings in tech fields, though average tech salaries here are comparatively low and the cost of living fairly high.
Chris Camacho, GPEC’s president and CEO, said the new agreement with Taiwan will serve as a “springboard to a successful bi-national partnership.”
“As partners, Greater Phoenix and Taiwan share common economic goals with legacies built on similar industries,” Camacho said in a prepared statement. “This signing represents a coming together of shared vision to form a strategic alliance rooted in collaboration and innovation, and together we will bring opportunity and economic success to both regions.”
The value of semiconductors, the tiny brains found inside devices and machines ranging from cellphones to automobiles, by themselves are expected to rise to about $589 billion by 2025 from $440 billion in 2020, estimates World Semiconductor Trade Statistics, an industry group.
A recent shortage of semiconductors that has crimped automakers and various other manufacturers underscores the importance of chips to the global economy.
By working in unison, Taiwan and Arizona hope to gain more market share and shape the landscape for that critical industry.
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support local journalism. Subscribe to azcentral.com today.