The US and Malaysia are planning to sign a cooperation agreement by next year, the two countries announced earlier today in a joint statement. The deal aims to improve transparency, resilience, and security in the semiconductor and manufacturing sector supply chains, with hopes to tackle the shortages that are currently ongoing across the globe. According to Reuters, the agreement comes as Malaysia seeks to tackle a shortage in semiconductor chips after supplies were disrupted due a surge in COVID-19 cases this year.
The announcement was issued during US secretary of commerce Gina Raimondo’s visit to the country. Both she and Malaysian international trade and industry minister Azmin Ali met with local semiconductor industry representatives earlier today. Raimondo said both governments had a “broad ranging discussion” with the representatives, including to cut out redundancy in investments and to boost supplies.
As an outcome of the semiconductor roundtable co-hosted by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and I, we signed a joined statement where both nations commits to support the strong commercial relationship between Malaysia and the United States. pic.twitter.com/r6yKlXGnTl
— Mohamed Azmin Ali 🇲🇾 (@AzminAli) November 18, 2021
“Given Malaysia’s critical role in global supply chains for semiconductors, electronics, health products, and other key goods,” said the joint statement. “This announcement is an important first step in collaborating on current and long-term supply chain challenges for both our nations and the global economy.”
Reuters adds the country’s chip assembly industry accounts for more than a tenth of a global trade worth over US$20 billion. Meanwhile, a report published by Bloomberg last August noted that factories for several major semiconductor players including Infineon Technologies AG, NXP Semiconductors NV, and STMicrolectronics NV are based in Malaysia.