US May Help Grow Malaysia Semiconductor Industry

The United States is seeking reliable suppliers for its chipmakers, so they can reduce their reliance on China.
(credit: pressfoto on Freepik)

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The United States (US) State Department plans to utilise the International Technology Security and Innovation (ITSI) Fund, with USD500 million (~RM2.38 billion), to engage partner nations, especially in the semiconductor supply chain.

Potential candidates, including the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Malaysia, and India, are being considered. The goal is to provide US-approved alternatives for companies seeking to de-risk from China, according to Politico via The Edge Malaysia.

The State Department has existing partnerships with Costa Rica, Panama, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines for semiconductor industry growth. Countries seeking ITSI funding must meet criteria like reliable infrastructure, a skilled workforce, free trade policies, and regulatory certainty.

Export control negotiations may be crucial, considering concerns about advanced technology leakage. The USD500 million fund is relatively small compared to the USD39 billion (~RM185.7 trillion) the US is investing in its semiconductor industry.

Success depends on countries attracting private sector investment, and the duration they remain content with supplying rather than developing their own fabrication capacity.

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