CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson Reflects on Trip to Taiwan

Posted on March 28, 2024

taipei from above

CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson issued a letter to members regarding his recent trip to Taiwan to meet with semiconductor supply chain partners and attend the Global Smart Cities Expo in Taipei:


Last week, I joined Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and OCIDA Executive Director Bob Petrovich on an inaugural joint trade mission to Taiwan. Over three days, we had the opportunity to attend the Global Smart Cities Expo in Taipei and meet with seven semiconductor supply chain partners, building relationships that will be critical to the development of a world-class cluster here in Central New York.

It was my first-time visiting Taiwan, and it was truly a remarkable experience. For some perspective, the island of Taiwan encompasses nearly 14,000 square miles, an area appropriately 40% larger than New York's own Adirondack Park. Yet it is home to nearly 24 million people and produces more than 60% of the world's semiconductors and 90% of the world's advanced chips. Taipei, the island's largest city, is home to more than 2.5 million people. It is as modern, walkable and vibrant as any city in the U.S. It is a city that very clearly embraces its place as a center for international commerce and technology blending cultures, cuisines and architecture to create a gorgeous tapestry of urban life. Everywhere we went we were received warmly. 

Many of the companies we met are mid-sized family-owned manufacturers. A future investment in Central New York would be their first corporate investment outside Taiwan or Asia itself. Every conversation was welcoming, candid and focused on ensuring successful entry into U.S. markets. We had many opportunities to tell Central New York’s story, and tout its unique value proposition, including: 

  • By 2033, one in four American-made semiconductor chips will be made within 350 miles of our recently designated SMART-I Corridor Tech Hub. This massive growth in domestic manufacturing is a critical market opportunity for companies that have long served the industry leaders, predominantly in Asia.
  • The Great Lakes offer access to more than 25% of the world’s freshwater resources.
  • Our region graduates nearly 8,000 engineers, growing annually, and more than 6% of all the engineering students in the U.S. in any given year.
  • Our region’s rich cultural diversity and our welcoming nature to people and investment from all over the world.

But perhaps our most compelling argument for Central New York is the partnerships we showcased. I want to thank our partners at Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse for making this visit together, sharing a vision and ensuring it becomes a reality. When we work together, we win. 

While this is the first opportunity to showcase our region on the world stage, it will not be our last. Already, we are making plans to welcome leaders of some of these same companies from Taiwan to our region in the coming months. 

For years, we have talked about our ambition to return Central New York to its rightful position of global economic relevance. These visits are the direct result of more than two decades of your commitment and investments that have led to a future full of growth and opportunities. The world is now watching Central New York, and alongside our partners, we stand ready to support this growth and our new economic trajectory.  

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