Philippines says China's Yadea to invest $1 billion in e-motorcycle plant

MANILA, June 15 (Reuters) – China’s Yadea Group Holdings (1585.HK), one of the world’s biggest electric two-wheeled vehicle makers, plans to invest about $1 billion in an e-motorcycle factory in the Philippines, the country’s investment promotions agency chief said on Thursday.

Yadea is one of a several electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers looking at the Southeast Asian nation for expansion of their manufacturing sites, Tereso Panga, director-general of government-run Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), told reporters.

Yadea, which has six production hubs in China and one in Vietnam with an annual capacity of more than 12 million vehicles, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Yadea has already signified its interest to file an application to PEZA for a factory in Batangas located south of the capital, Manila, Panga said.

It will have an annual production capacity of 3 million to 5 million units that will cater to domestic demand, with potential for exports, Panga said.

The Philippines produced 935,000 motorcycles and scooters in 2022, ASEAN Automotive Federation data show. There were 8.07 million motorcycles registered in the country as of end-2021, government data show.

The Philippines, a regional laggard in attracting foreign direct investment, is trying to entice EV manufacturers and export-oriented industries through tax perks and faster processing of permits. It faces big competition from Thailand and Indonesia in the race to court EV makers.

The Philippines is also touting its abundance of nickel, copper and cobalt, which are key raw materials for the EV industry.

American and British electric vehicle firms are also scouting for battery and e-motorcycle manufacturing sites, Panga said.

PEZA targets a 10% increase in investment approvals this year from 140.7 billion pesos ($2.51 billion) in 2022.

($1 = 56.06 Philippine pesos)

Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Martin Petty

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