Vietnam-based conglomerate Vingroup plans to invest in the Philippine market, starting with its EV brand VinFast setting up a network of electric car and motorcycle dealerships, the group said in a statement on Monday.

“As per the established plan, VinFast will lead the way for Vingroup’s investments in the Philippines in 2024, commencing with the establishment of a network of electric car and motorcycle dealerships,” the group said. “This initiative marks the next strategic step in VinFast’s ambitious expansion plan, targeting a presence in at least 50 countries this year, with Southeast Asia designated as the key markets region.”

As part of his state visit to Vietnam, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Philippines held a private meeting with Vingroup Chairman Pham Nhat Vuong and the group’s senior executives in Hanoi.

The meeting was attended by a high-level delegation from the Philippines, including Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique A. Manalo, Secretary of Trade and Industry Alfredo E. Pascual, Secretary of Agriculture Francisco T. Laurel, leaders of several government agencies and major Philippine companies, the statement added.

During the meeting, Pham introduced the member companies in the Vingroup ecosystem with plans to invest in the Philippine market. He highlighted VinFast, a global electric vehicle brand with a diverse range of products including full electric motorcycles, cars, and buses.

In addition to the EV business, the Vingroup Chairman also presented the prospects for cooperation in developing public services such as buses, taxis, and training students in artificial intelligence and medicine.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. welcomed Vingroup’s intention to invest in various Philippine industries and sectors, noting the alignment between Vingroup’s interests and the country’s development directions, particularly in electric vehicles and batteries.

The Philippines is revamping its transportation sector, phasing out aging combustion engine vehicles and implementing a modernization plan.

Securing a source of electric vehicles is crucial. The country has already enacted laws that support electric vehicles and encourage importing EVs components, aiming to attract foreign investors for domestic assembly. This domestic production boost will add value to the nation’s economy.

In addition, the Philippines also hopes to participate in the EV battery supply chain.

“The Philippines is fortunate to have all the necessary ingredients to produce batteries for electric vehicles, with abundant reserves of cobalt, copper and nickel. However, it has still been exporting raw ores. The government is working to increase the value of the Philippine economy by processing them domestically and expects to be able to establish a battery factory. This is in line with Vingroup’s vision”, Marcos said.

Marcos also affirmed that the Philippine government is committed to creating a favorable business environment for foreign investors. He emphasized the ongoing administrative reforms aimed at streamlining procedures and reducing bureaucratic hurdles. The Philippine government agencies stand ready to provide Vingroup with all necessary support to ensure the success of its ventures in the country.

Pham also noted that the Philippines was a top priority market for Vingroup’s global expansion strategy.

VinFast powers Indonesia’s EV future with expansion plan