MADRID– The Spanish government on Tuesday announced a 12.3 billion euro ($13.2 billion) investment plan to convert the country into a major producer of microchips and help reduce dependence on Spain and the EU. European Union vis-à-vis other suppliers.
The announcement in Madrid came as Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez was due to meet with tech company executives at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, to explain the plan and seek new investment.
Speaking in Madrid, Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Nadia Calviño said the five-year plan aims to enable Spain to cover all areas of microchip design and production, which are now considered essential for all areas of modern industry.
A global shortage of computer chips has made it harder for consumers to get their hands on cars, computers and other modern necessities. The European Union has announced a $48 billion plan to become a major producer of semiconductors, mirroring US President Joe Biden’s $52 billion push to invest in a domestic chip production sector to ensure increased production at the national level.
She said the plan was one of the Spanish government’s most ambitious plans to revive the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic and would have an effect on other sectors.
The project aimed to bolster the EU’s weak position in microchip production, which Calviño said accounted for around 10% of the global total. She said this led to heavy reliance on a few large producers such as Taiwan, the United States, South Korea, Japan and China.
Calviño added that “the war in Ukraine makes the strengthening of strategic autonomy in the fields of energy, technology, food production as well as cybersecurity a priority”.