This report reviews the status of electronics manufacturing capabilities of Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Comparisons with the United States and Japan are included. The report covers government R&D programs and incentives for private investment, manufacturing and related technology infrastructure, regional economic cooperation, and relationships with the United States and Japan. Sources for the study included an extensive literature review (including Internet sources); visits to 28 key government agencies, research institutions, and manufacturing companies in the countries of interest; and an extensive review of the draft report by study panelists, site visit hosts, and study sponsors. The panel concluded that Pacific Rim countries have taken the lead in high-volume low-cost electronics manufacturing and are aggressively pursuing higher technology and higher value-added markets. While the United States and Japan retain technology leadership in electronic packaging for high performance and specialized applications, these technologies are being transferred rapidly to other Pacific Rim nations. The rapid development of electronics manufacturing infrastructure in East Asia poses a challenge to overall U.S. manufacturing competitiveness as the United States becomes increasingly dependent on Asian suppliers of key components, subsystems, and finished products.

Published: May 1997; WTEC Hyper-Librarian