Steffen Weiser, IBM, Belgium
Globalization in the last couple of decades has led to an unprecedented geographical expansion of economic activity, including a significant shift of (production-related) activities towards developing countries. Although developing countries can be attractive as low cost operating platforms and potential future markets, companies have to be aware of certain pitfalls when expanding into these countries. Although the semiconductor manufacturing industry has clearly become a global industry - especially over the last decade - different factors drive the globalization of this knowledge, with technology intensive industry and different location issues being important when considering geographical expansion for a manufacturing operation. The following article summarizes the process of globalization, foreign investment and its drivers, and site selection in the semiconductor manufacturing industry in particular.