Germany wants to attract chip makers with 14 bln euros state aid

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German Economy and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck delivers his speech during a ceremony for a planned floating LNG terminal in the harbour in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, May 5, 2022. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

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BERLIN, May 5 (Reuters) - Germany's government wants to attract chip makers with 14 billion euros ($14.71 billion) in support, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Thursday, adding that the lack of semiconductors used in everything from smartphones to cars was a massive problem.

A global chip shortage and supply chain bottlenecks have created havoc for car makers, healthcare providers, telecoms operators and others.

"It's a lot of money," Habeck told a gathering of family businesses in Hanover.

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In February, the European Commission set out plans to encourage chip manufacturing in the European Union due to a boom in demand, with proposed new legislation to ease state aid rules for chip factories.

In March, U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp (INTC.O) announced it had picked the German town of Magdeburg as the site for a huge new 17 billion euro chipmaking complex. Government sources said at the time the state was promoting the project with billions of euros of funds.

Habeck said there would be further examples like Magdeburg even though companies in Germany would remain dependent on producers elsewhere for components like batteries.

"We must develop our own strategy to secure primary materials," he said.

($1 = 0.9516 euros)

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Reporting by Christian Kraemer Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by David Gregorio

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