The government does not want to lose a lot of technological value

“Operation Beethoven”. This is the internal name of a project that the Dutch government launched to prevent ASML, the manufacturer lithographic equipment the most important on the planet, can move or expand abroad. The news, which comes from De Telegraaf based on its sources, indicates that France is one of the possible destinations for the Veldhoven-based company.

ASML is a key player in the semiconductor industry. We are talking about a company that supplies an important part of the machinery for the production of chips used by giants TSMC, Intel and Samsung, among others. And while we know it competes with other players like Tokyo Electron, Nikon, and Canon, it has no rivals in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photolithography industry.

The challenge is to grow and continue to be a leader

ASML, which has come a long way to become a company worth more than €300 billion, faces a number of challenges to continue growing in your country of origin. According to the aforementioned local newspaper, the company’s biggest concern is the labor shortage, a difficult scenario given the country’s current immigration policy.

Currently, 40% of ASML’s workforce is of foreign origin. And everything seems to indicate that the company is finding it increasingly difficult to find talent amid its growth ambitions to maintain its leadership position. In the past, the firm’s CEO, Peter Wennink, has suggested that they may go elsewhere to grow if they can’t get the workforce they need.

De Telegraaf notes that one possible destination for ASML’s expansion would be France, although the company avoided making a statement on the matter. In any case, Reuters confirmed that Dutch Economy Minister Miki Adriaansens had scheduled meeting with the tech company’s CEO last Wednesday to address growth issues.

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Adriaansens recognized ASML’s desire to continue growing and was willing to listen to the company’s demands. Any possible solution, however, may encounter new difficulties along the way. The current prime minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, resigned last July amid tensions and disagreements over asylum and immigration policies.

On November 22, Geert Wilders, a politician known for his anti-immigration policy, won the early general election. However, he failed to convince other parties to form a government. Wilders wants to govern, but reaching a coalition agreement is becoming an increasingly difficult task. Meanwhile, outgoing minister Rutte continues to lead the Netherlands.

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It should be noted that this is not the only problem facing ASML at this time. US trade sanctions against China have begun to affect his business. Venink predicted that the company he runs will lose about 15% of its sales to the Asian country. It is currently unable to sell its UVP and UVE equipment, although it fears the restrictions could worsen.

Images | ASML

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