US commerce secretary promises investments in Thailand to make semiconductors


March 14, 2024

Visiting US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has promised to increase US investment in Thailand for the manufacture of semiconductors to cope with the growing global demand.

She said Thailand stood to gain from a move by the United States to diversify semiconductor production, adding that American firms were ready to “supercharge” investments into the kingdom.

According to Raimondo, the US would look to push additional investments into Thailand and other member countries of the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) as it seeks to diversify production.

“We’re all in this together. It benefits everyone, the United States, Thailand, all the IPEF countries, to diversify the supply chain of semiconductor production,” she was quoted by Reuters as saying.

“As US multinationals look to diversify their supply chains, Thailand is increasingly a place that comes to the top of the list,” the US commerce secretary said.

Raimondo noted that the semiconductor industry had seen huge global demand amid the growth of data centres, digital economy, and artificial intelligence.

“The production of semiconductors is dangerously concentrated in one or two countries in the world,” she said.

The US commerce secretary was speaking during an event in Bangkok on Wednesday hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand.

She also invited Thai corporations to invest in the US through the SelectUSA investment programme.

Raimondo was scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin at Government House late on Thursday afternoon to discuss cooperation in trade and investment between the two countries.

In May 2022, the US launched the IPEF with Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The 14 IPEF partners represent 40% of global GDP and 28% of global goods and services trade.

The US-led grouping is reportedly aimed in part at providing countries in the region with an alternative to closer ties with China.

Source: The Nation