BRUSSELS (Reuters) -The European Union and Belgium’s regional Flemish government will together invest 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) in Belgian chip technology firm Imec, the Flemish government said on Friday.

Imec will use the investment to expand its “clean room” test facility with the most advanced equipment and processes, the company said in a statement.

“We know we will get our money back, not only in euros but also in societal dividend,” Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon said at a joint press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

Von der Leyen, who was visiting Imec, stressed the EU’s stance that it should de-risk its supply chains for chips.

While Von der Leyen did not directly address China’s planned curbs on exports of strategic metals widely used in the semiconductor industry, she said the EU should reduce its dependency “on too few suppliers from East Asia”.

Earlier this week, the EU expressed concern over China’s plans.

($1 = 0.9195 euros)

(Reporting by Charlotte Van Campenhout; editing by Mark Potter)

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