Semiconductor reps to voice concern over trade war to US

By Aishah Mohmad Afandi

KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 (Bernama) -- Global semiconductor players will hold a meeting with the United States (US) officials next week to discuss the industry’s concerns on the ongoing trade war between the US and China.

SEMI Southeast Asia president Ng Kai Fai said he hoped the meeting would bring clarity to trade direction and resolve issues faced by the electric and electronics (E&E) sector.

“The trade war is not good for anybody. SEMI supports free trade and the ongoing trade war has a negative impact on the industry and the global economy,” he said in an interview with Bernama recently.

However, he was optimistic that the E&E global trade would rebound soon.

“Maybe not in the next quarter, but I believe that the positive sentiment will return if the tension between the two economic powerhouses subside,” he said.

SEMI is a global industry association of companies in the E&E sector.

Both the US and China are currently negotiating on a new trade deal, following last week’s setback which saw US President Donald Trump threatening a tariff hike of 25 per cent on US$200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 per cent. 

Ng said currently, US and China companies are rethinking their business strategies and Malaysia should capitalise on it to promote the country’s quality manufacturing.

“At the same time, companies should also embark on smart manufacturing system that will increase efficiency and accuracy in manufacturing sensitive electrical components,” he said.

 As for demand in the E&E sector, he said that the industry may have experienced a slowdown this year, but should recover in the coming months.

“The global market share for E&E has increased over the years, it was at US$200 billion in 2000 and it is expected to reach US$500 billion by 2020,” Ng said.

He said that the main driver that would push the E&E sector further would be the next generation technology involving 5G installation, smart cities and autonomous vehicle.

“Malaysia’s strength lies in quality manufacturing, and if the country capitalises on it correctly, it could stand taller in the industry and attract more quality foreign investment in the E&E sector,” he added.  


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