US Commerce Secretary Discusses Semiconductor Policy Benefits for Thailand

In a recent development, US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo highlighted Thailand’s potential to benefit from the United States’ strategy to enhance diversity in semiconductor production locations. The move aims to attract investments from American companies into Southeast Asian nations, as reported by Reuters.

During her visit to Bangkok, Minister Raimondo emphasized the risks associated with semiconductor production being heavily concentrated in a few countries worldwide. She expressed the US’s commitment to promoting further investments in member countries of the Indo-Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (IPEF).

The IPEF, spearheaded by the US, serves as a framework agreement designed to offer countries in the region an alternative to strengthening ties with China. Thailand is among the 14 member nations of the council.

Minister Raimondo underlined the mutual benefits of diversifying the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain, stating, “It benefits everyone, (including) the US, Thailand, and all IPEF members.”

Prime Minister of Thailand, Mr. Settha Thavisin, is set to engage in discussions with Minister Raimondo on the matter.

In 2022, the United States enacted the Chips and Science Act, committing $52.7 billion (approximately 1.9 trillion baht) to semiconductor production, research, and skill development. The electrical and electronic appliance industries, known for attracting foreign investments, are a key sector for economic growth targeted by Mr. Settha.

According to a report from Siam Commercial Bank in 2023, major players in the Thai semiconductor industry include the United States, Japan, Korea, and the Netherlands, focusing mainly on back-end processes following the creation of features or circuit boards on silicon surfaces or wafers.

Prior to her visit to Thailand, Minister Raimondo visited the Philippines, where she announced American companies’ plans to invest over $1 billion in various sectors such as electric vehicles, solar energy, and the digital industry.

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