Plaid Cymru calls for Welsh Government to stop “economic vandalism”
Plaid Cymru has called on the Welsh Government to stop dragging its heels before it risks losing a crucial technology contract that could secure thousands of high quality tech jobs in Wales.
Plaid Cymru understands Welsh company IQE – the world leading supplier of VCSEL technology for the 3D cameras in the new iphone8– was hoping to take over the old LG P&T building in Newport from the Welsh Government to deliver a major new contract..
The First Minister has described the wider investment of which this forms part as a “major coup” and said that the Welsh Government had plans to make the Wales the “global centre of expertise for contact semiconductors”.
However it is now understood that after much foot-dragging and haggling by the Welsh Government, the company is considering a Plan B of relocating the project to its North Carolina site. The company has reportedly given the Welsh Government until July 14th to secure the deal.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy Adam Price said:
“The Welsh Government has failed to give this project the clear priority at cabinet level that it deserves. This technology, has the potential to revolutionise a whole range of sectors – and we could build it here in Wales. Handing responsibility to low level officials in the Welsh Government property department, and arguing with Local Authority partners over minutiae has put at risk one of the biggest investments ever by a successful home grown company.”
Plaid Cymru South Wales East AM Steffan Lewis said:
“I sincerely hope that it is not too late to turn this around. IQE is a world leader in the technology of tomorrow, and these are the kind of jobs that the Welsh Government should be making sure that we secure in Wales. Instead the government has almost driven them away. I hope that Plaid Cymru’s intervention today will force the Welsh Government to turn it around but lessons must be learned in order to prevent this kind of self-inflicted economic vandalism.”