Spain to invest €11 billion to become Europe’s microchip factory

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Monday announced his government will use €11 billion of EU funds for Spain to become a manufacturer of microchips, key components in our digital world and an element of "global geostrategic importance”. 

Spain to invest €11 billion to become Europe's microchip factory
The Spanish government doesn't want to miss out on the chance to make Spain the leading producer of microchips in Europe.(Photo by JENS SCHLUETER / AFP)

Spain wants to lead the way in Europe in terms of microchip and semiconductor development. 

In the words of Pedro Sánchez at the ‘Wake up, Spain’ tech conference on Monday April 4th: “The Spanish government wants our country to be at the forefront of industrial and technological progress”.

Microchips and semiconductors are everywhere and needed for all manner of modern technology to function. Digital products in everyday life such as smartphones, digital cameras, televisions, washing machines, cars, fridges, medical devices and LED bulbs all use these tiny integrated circuits.

In 2020, more than 932 billion chips were manufactured around the world and in 2021 production continued growing into a €550 billion industry.

Covid-19 restrictions led to a global shortage of microchips and semiconductors as well as supply chain bottlenecks, in part as a result of their production still being mainly centred in Asia, namely in Taiwan. 

“Semiconductors are essential elements in all energy sectors and acquire global geostrategic importance in the context of digital transformation”, Sánchez stressed.

His words come at a time when the war in Ukraine has forced many European countries to question their dependency on Russian natural gas and their lack of self-sustainability overall.

Spain’s Prime Minister highlighted that Spain is at the centre of economic recovery plans in Europe and that it has already received €19 billion from the European Commission.

“Receiving the funds was the first of the challenges, but the important challenge now is to execute (the measures) quickly and efficiently,” he added, and that “they have an impact on people’s daily lives”.

US tech giant Intel is also set to invest an initial US$17 billion (€15.4  billion) to build a semiconductor factory in Germany and R&D facilities in France, Poland and Ireland.

The Spanish government is yet to give more details about what its new €11 billion microchip plan will consist of, but it is set to be approved by the European Commission soon.

READ ALSO – Meta, IBM, Google, Amazon: How thousands of tech jobs are being created in Spain

Member comments

  1. This is great news. An excellent opportunity to rejuvenate Spain’s industrial regions and stabilise the supply and price of essential electronic components within the EU.

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Qatar to invest an extra €4.75 billion in Spain

Qatar on Wednesday said it plans to invest an additional $5 billion (€4.75 billion) in Spain on the second day of a state visit by its emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Qatar to invest an extra €4.75 billion in Spain

“The volume of investments agreed upon with the Spanish side amounts to $5 billion in various sectors,” said Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in a statement tweeted by his ministry.

Neither side gave a timetable for the investment, which amounts to some €4.75 billion, nor did they say which sectors would benefit.

“Qatar will invest close to five billion euros in our country in the coming years,” Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said during a business meeting with the Qatari delegation.

“It is a gesture of confidence in the Spanish economy and Spanish businesses which will strengthen bilateral ties,” he said ahead of afternoon talks with the emir.

Before the pandemic, Qatari investment in Spain stood at €2.67 billion ($2.8 billion), the Spanish government said, making it the country’s 24th biggest investor.

To date, Qatari funding has been notably invested in several sectors: civil aviation, construction, energy and communications.

According to a Spanish government source, the two sides will on Wednesday sign around a dozen commercial contracts, notably concerning energy as Madrid seeks to diversify its gas supplies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Qatar, one of the world’s three biggest exporters of liquified natural gas (LNG), is currently Spain’s fifth-largest supplier after the United States, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt.

The country accounted for 4.4 percent of Spain’s total gas imports in April and the Spanish government hopes to increase this share.

European states are increasingly looking to other sources of natural gas as they try to wean themselves off dependence on Russia, with LNG easily shipped by boat from countries such as Qatar and the United States.

After Madrid, the Qatari leader will continue his tour of Europe, visiting Germany, Britain, Slovenia and Switzerland, where he will attend the World Economic Forum in the mountain resort of Davos which runs from May 22-26.

Qatar will host the World Cup later this year.