VILNIUS – As Taiwanese chip giant TSMC chose Germany as the location for its its first European production facility, Lithuanian Economy and Innovation Minister Ausrine Armonaite says she knew about the chipmaker's plans beforehand.
She adds, however, that Lithuanian semiconductor companies that have received Taiwanese technology or support are already implementing projects.
"These plans were very well known and they are public. (...) TSMC, the world's largest semiconductor manufacturer from Taiwan, already had plans to set up a large, huge factory in an economy that apparently has more to offer to such a factory," the minister told the Ziniu Radijas news radio on Thursday.
She added, however, that Taiwan is also actively cooperating with Lithuanian companies.
"Lithuania has received Taiwan's technology, or rather, not Lithuania, but the Lithuanian company Teltonika that has a business plan and has already started implementing it and building a semiconductor production line in Lithuania. I am very happy that a Lithuanian company is strengthening the foundations of the semiconductor industry in Lithuania," Armonaite said.
"Everything is moving, Lithuania is not lagging behind, and I am very happy that we have Lithuanian companies involved. And not only Teltonika, in fact, there are Lithuanian companies involved in semiconductor design, there are Lithuanian laser companies involved in semiconductor manufacturing, packaging," she added.
In January, Teltonika IoT Group, a Lithuanian developer of IoT solutions, signed a 14 million euro agreement with Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute to share semiconductor chip technology.
After three Lithuanian companies - Teltonika, SoliTek and Oxipit - received Taiwanese funding for joint projects, Armonaite said at the beginning of this year that further direct Taiwanese investment in manufacturing was also being negotiated.
Last week, TSMC announced its decision to invest 3.8 billion US dollars (3.5 billion euros) into a news chip production facility in Germany, saying that total investment into the plant - TSMC's first in Europe - will exceed 10 billion euros.