DTI head pursues investments in green metals; touts PHL’s EV industry potential in Vietnam

HANOI, VIETNAM–In line with the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) efforts to promote investments in the green metals industry, Secretary Fred Pascual met with the Vingroup Company, Vietnam’s largest private company, on 29 January 2024 at the sidelines of the Presidential Visit in Vietnam. The DTI chief welcomed the entry of VinFast, a subsidiary of the Vingroup Company planning to sell and launch their electric vehicles (EVs) in the country through dealership business by April 2024.

“The Philippines welcome investments in the EV sector as we position the country as a hub for smart and sustainability-driven manufacturing and services industries in Southeast Asia. Hence, we encourage you to explore other investment opportunities besides EV sales and dealerships,” Said Secretary Pascual.

The trade and industry chief also highlighted the government’s initiatives in promoting the country’s EV industry through the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program and the E-Trike Project of the Department of Energy (DOE), which have been successful in increasing the number of e-jeepneys and e-tricycles.

As outlined under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, EV projects in the Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP) may avail up to 17 years of incentives and 40 years of qualified government support. Moreover, completely built-up units of certain EVs may now be imported duty-free under Executive Order (EO) No. 12.

In October 2023, the Board of Investments (BOI) assisted VinFast in their due diligence visit to the country, particularly facilitating six meetings between them and local nickel mining companies. They also arranged meetings for partnership opportunities with the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr), for VinFast’s interest in the Philippine EV industry.

Highlighting the current administration’s steadfast efforts to create a conducive environment for investments, Secretary Pascual discussed the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Act and the recent Executive Order No. 18 on Green Lanes for Strategic Investments. He cited that this can support VinFast’s outlook to diversify its market and explore mineral processing in the Philippines.

Apart from the EV industry, the DTI secretary also encouraged the Vingroup Company to look for investment opportunities in the tourism and healthcare sectors.

After affirming the government’s support in the entry of VinFast in the Philippines, Secretary Pascual underscored, “As we work to increase our FDIs from Vietnam and advance our economic cooperation, we hope that VinFast will Make It Happen in the Philippines.”