Eric Huang, head of Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania: “The value of semiconductors goods in trade today is larger than that of petroleum or oil”

  • 2023-11-27
  • Mike McCarthy

First milestone of the Taiwan-Lithuania Semiconductor Cooperation successfully achieved. Both sides will continue working on the next two phases for detailed planning and implementation.

Mr. Eric Huang, Representative and head of The Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania commends Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and Teltonika, which are partners of the Taiwan-Lithuania Semiconductor Cooperation, on the successful completion of the phase one of the project in its stakeholders’ meeting on November 21, 2023, in Vilnius.

Lithuanian senior officials, including Lithuanian Vice Foreign Minister Ms. Jovita Neliupsiene, and Vice Minister of Ministry of Economy and Innovation Mr. Karolis Zemaitis also joined in the meeting to hear briefings on the progresses from the project partners represented by Vice President of ITRI Dr. Chih-I Wu along with 9 other experts from Taiwan and the Founder and President of Teltonika Mr. Arvydas Paukštys.

“I am glad to learn that the highly sophisticated feasibility study of options for Lithuania to develop a semiconductor industry through Teltonika has been successfully completed,” said Mr. Huang.

According to the briefings of ITRI and Teltonika, options as well as ITRI’s strategic industrial recommendations for Teltonika on developing semiconductors design, chip fabrication, package and testing, and power module manufacturing are fully explored based on the advantages of Lithuania and the company. In the next two phases, ITRI will further collaborate with Teltonika on designing detailed plans for Teltonika to invest in options that will best fit its advantages and capabilities which will be developed with the help of ITRI in the coming two to three years.

If the cooperation is implemented properly, Teltonika’s Founder Mr. Paukstys said in the meeting that “Teltonika looks into the potential for making the company’s initial investment up to 500 million euros to build semiconductor facilities of around 50,000 square meters in floor areas in Lithuania, creating 1,000 new jobs.”

On Teltonika’s ambitious plan to venture into the deep tech industry in Lithuania, ITRI will provide strategic consultation and technical assistance to Teltonika in crafting feasible and detailed plans as well as in the implementations and necessary adjustments in the course of the next two phases of the cooperation.

Mr. Huang explained in his opening remarks that “The value of semiconductors goods in trade today is larger than that of petroleum or oil. Semiconductor is the new oil in the 21st century. It also lays the foundation of almost all of our modern innovations and technology advancements, be it artificial intelligence, electric vehicles, or advanced defense weapons.”

According to a recent European Council’s report on the policy of EU chips industry, microchips or semiconductors are the DNA of modern technology. Semiconductor industry is estimated to be worth 640 billion US dollars in 2022, and chip demand is expected to double between 2022 and 2030. Semiconductors are used in everyday life like smartphones, laptops, credit cards, game consoles, and microwaves; in critical applications such as cars, airplanes, and medical diagnostic equipment; and in key infrastructures that includes energy, defense, mobility, data and communication.

Taiwan produces more than 60 percent of semiconductors in the world. More than 90 percent of the most advanced ones are produced in Taiwan. Mr. Huang elaborated in the meeting that semiconductor is not only a high tech. It is in fact a “deep tech” that transforms the world both in economy and security. “Therefore, the cooperation between Taiwan and Lithuania is not possible without the bilateral commitments to our relations based on our shared values of democracy and freedom.”

For the last 50 years, Taiwan’s story of success in semiconductor industry began from ITRI that created TSMC, the largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world, which has an annual revenue of 75 billion US dollars in 2022, and many other global technology giants based in Taiwan. “ITRI’s involvement as a partner in the semiconductor cooperation demonstrates Taiwan’s strong commitment in developing our shared future of prosperity,” said Mr. Huang.

In addition to the project, in 2023, in cooperation with leading universities in Lithuania, The Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania also invited and sent about 30 Lithuanian students and engineers to study in Taiwan for short-term semiconductor training programs to enhance Lithuanian students’ understanding and interest in the technology. Scholarships were also provided for Lithuanian students, including doctoral and master students, to study semiconductor technology in Taiwan. The transformational deep tech requires long term and continuous investment in talent, which is the core of the semiconductor industry.