Vietnam-based electric vehicle (EV) maker VinFast is to open a subsidiary in the Philippines, with work on the new facility set to begin later this year.

The announcement came during a meeting between Vingroup executives and the Philippines’ president Ferdinand R Marcos Jr during his state visit to Vietnam yesterday (29 January). Marcos told Vingroup officials he is “very happy to note your interest in expanding your operations to the Philippines, and you’ve just begun organising offices here.”

“The Vingroup is well-known in the Philippines because we are very much aligned [with] what we would like to do in the future in terms of EV battery production.”

In recent months, VinFast has increased its business presence in South and Southeast Asia. At the beginning of January, the company said it would build a $2bn EV and battery production plant in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Last year, in September, it announced plans to invest $200m in an assembly plant in Indonesia.

Once completed, the Indonesian plant will manufacture between 30,000 and 50,000 cars per year.

For the Philippines, VinFast’s latest investment plans come as officials in Manila have managed to attract other eco-friendly projects from abroad. Last week, Denmark-based Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) promised to allocate $1.92bn to a 650MW wind farm.

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Vietnam and the Philippines have also stepped up collaboration on a series of significant issues, including security in the South China Sea. The two governments have agreed on a plan to enforce cooperation between their coastguards to counter Beijing’s claim over international waters, which are shared by all three countries in the region.