Panama launches plan for semiconductor development

Panama is one of the countries with which the United States announced in July 2023 a partnership to boost the semiconductor sector.

Panama intends to create a national action plan to boost microelectronic and semiconductor activity, which includes the training of talent and the development of so-called chips, the government reported Tuesday.

Panama is one of the countries with which the United States announced in July 2023 a partnership to boost the semiconductor sector and thus promote a more resilient global chain.

In this context, the Panamanian president, Laurentino Cortizo, signed on Tuesday an executive decree establishing the guidelines for the development and promotion of microelectronic and semiconductor activity, including the creation of a “strategy and a national action plan that allows Panama to take on the challenge in a coordinated, systematic and long-term vision” process.

The decree creates the Innovation Commission in Microelectronics and Semiconductors, which will follow up on the national strategy, which aims to achieve the country’s integration into the global microelectronics and semiconductor chain, train human talent in these areas and promote research and development linked to the manufacture of chips.

This plan includes the creation, with the advice of Arizona State University of the United States, of the Center for Advanced Technology of Semiconductors (C-TASC) that will operate at the state State University of Technology of Panama (UTP).

In addition, the National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (Senacyt) announced the establishment of a new master’s and doctoral scholarship program specializing in microelectronics and semiconductors, as a result of a collaboration agreement signed with Arizona State University.

Semiconductors are the key element in modern electronics because they are present in countless devices and systems. It is one of five technologies in the modern era that by 2030 is estimated to represent an economic market of a trillion dollars, an official statement said.

“As a country we have a real opportunity to insert ourselves into this value chain (global microelectronics and semiconductors) taking advantage of Panama’s competitive advantages, such as our privileged geographical position, advanced logistics infrastructure and our long history within global trade,” said the head of state.

The Panamanian government reported last March that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) analysed Panama’s potential for the semiconductor industry in order to give “recommendations and identify regulations and policies” for its development.

When the association of the United States and Panama was announced last July, it was specified that both countries would collaborate “strongly to carry out an in-depth evaluation of the existing semiconductor ecosystem” in the Central American country, “with the aim of identifying the strengths and areas of improvement.

This review would be funded by the International Fund for Security and Technology Innovation or ITSI Fund, which was approved under the ‘GCHIPS Law of 2022’ and which is “administered by the United States Department of State for the purpose of supporting and encouraging collaboration with countries it has considered crucial for the semiconductor industry,” according to official information.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeered in Pan Amercia