Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. on Monday held a private meeting with Pham Nhat Vuong, chairman of Vietnam’s largest private conglomerate Vingroup, and the group’s senior executives in Hanoi, as part of the former’s state visit to Vietnam on Monday and Tuesday.
The meeting was also attended by high-ranking Philippine officials, including Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique A. Manalo, Secretary of Trade and Industry Alfredo E. Pascual, Secretary of Agriculture Francisco T. Laurel, and leaders of some governmental agencies and large companies.
At the meeting, Vingroup chairman Vuong introduced the subsidiaries in Vingroup’s ecosystem which have plans to invest in the Philippine market.
He highlighted VinFast, an electric vehicle (EV) brand under Vingroup with a diverse range of products including electric motorcycles, cars, and buses.
The Vietnamese entrepreneur also presented prospects for cooperation with Philippine partners in developing public services, such as buses and taxis, as well as training students in artificial intelligence and medicine.
President Marcos welcomed Vingroup’s plans to invest in various sectors in the Philippines, adding that Vingroup is well known in his country.
He also highlighted the alignment between Vingroup and his country’s development directions, especially in EVs and batteries.
The Philippines is restructuring its transport sector, phasing out aging vehicles, and seeking EV suppliers.
The country enacted laws that support EVs and encourage importing EV components to attract foreign investors to get involved in domestic EV assembly in a bid to add value to the economy.
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 EVs, with abundant reserves of cobalt, copper, and nickel, the Philippine leader said.
The Philippines is still exporting raw ore so it wants to increase the value of the local economy by processing it domestically and expects to establish a battery factory, he added.
This is in line with Vingroup’s vision, Marcos said.
He affirmed that the Philippine government would enhance administrative reforms and streamline procedures to create a favorable business climate for foreign investors.
The Philippines' governmental agencies stand ready to make conditions conducive to Vingroup and its subsidiaries doing business in the country.
|Vingroup chairman Pham Nhat Vuong (left side) presents Vingroup’s plans to invest in the Philippine market at a meeting with Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. in Hanoi, January 29, 2024. Photo: D.H. / Tuoi Tre
Vingroup chairman Vuong thanked the Philippine president, saying that he would immediately assign the group’s member companies to connect with partners and relevant agencies in the Philippines to explore cooperation and investment opportunities.
Vuong added that Vingroup considers the Philippines an extremely important market in its global expansion strategy.
VinFast will be the first company under Vingroup to make an investment in the Philippines this year, with the expected establishment of a network of electric car and motorcycle dealerships.
This is the next step to expand VinFast’s network to a minimum of 50 countries and territories this year, with Southeast Asia designated as the key market.
President Marcos’ visit is his first to Vietnam since taking office in 2022.
The state trip came at a time when the two countries are set to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership next year.
Earlier this month, Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited Vietnam from January 11 to 13.
During his visit, he toured a VinFast manufacturing complex in northern Hai Phong City and conveyed his admiration for the impressive business scale and quality of electric vehicles produced by the Vietnamese company.
Vuong also briefed President Widodo and other visitors on VinFast’s plan to invest at least US$1 billion in Indonesia in the long run.
Green and Smart Mobility Joint Stock Company (GSM), a taxi operator and leasing provider under Vingroup, also revealed its scheme to channel $900 million into Indonesia in the upcoming period.