Warren Buffett has good eye for investment: TSMC chairman

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) Chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) noted that U.S investment guru Warren Buffett has a keen eye for business on Wednesday while commenting on media reports that Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway has taken a stake in the world’s largest contract chipmaker.
Liu made the comment after giving a speech on the challenges and opportunities facing Taiwan’s semiconductor industry during a meeting of the Third Wednesday Club, a business organization in Taiwan, which was closed to the media.
“He has a sharp eye,” Liu said in his first reported response to the revelation by Berkshire Hathaway that it had bought US$4.1 billion of TSMC’s American depositary receipts (ADRs) as of the end of September, according to a source who attended the speech.
Meanwhile, Liu denied Taiwan has a brain drain problem in response to recent concerns over talent leaving the country, particularly as a number of TSMC engineers have recently traveled to the Untied States for the company’s first tool-in ceremony at its new Arizona plant on Dec. 6, marking the installation of the first batch of production equipment at the plant, according to the source.
Dispatching engineers overseas is part of TSMC’s global expansion planning, Liu indicated.
It has been reported that an estimated 500 workers could be sent to TSMC’s Arizona plant but the company has more than 50,000 engineers in Taiwan, Liu was cited as saying by the source.
Liu said there are non-market related reasons for TSMC to build a plant in the United States.
Taiwanese and American engineers have different styles and the management of employees in the U.S. will be a huge challenge for the company, Liu was cited as saying.
During a Q&A session, some enterprises expressed concerns over electricity supply in Taiwan. In response, Liu said that he is not an expert in this area but added that it is an issue the government should work to resolve.
Suggesting the government should make preemptive preparations for a potential power shortage, Liu said it is not enough to ensure sufficient supply for next year, adequate supply should be guaranteed for the next five years.
In his speech, Liu also emphasized that Taiwan has a comprehensive semiconductor industry cluster, the world’s most advanced process technology, a solid R&D and production foundation, and occupies a key position in the global semiconductor supply chain, according to the source.
Liu also said Taiwan’s semiconductor industry must accelerate development, maintain technological leadership, and develop an overall industry chain, including IC design, manufacturing, packaging and testing, components and materials. In addition, the upstream and downstream supply chains must work together to make the industry an indispensable global technology partner.
Lin Por-fong (林伯豐), chairman of the Third Wednesday Club, said he also made suggestions during the meeting on Wednesday, including amending the Statute for Industrial Innovation to expand the scope of R&D tax credits for the application of diverse innovations.
Lin said he also proposed that the government should provide financial support for universities to establish semiconductor institutions and help small and medium-sized enterprises join the semiconductor industry.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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