(Changes headline, lead and paragraphs 2, 8 and 9 to show plan is for production of electric motorcycles, not motorcycle batteries)
MANILA (Reuters) – China’s Yadea Group Holdings, 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.
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.
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.
EV motorcycles will initially cater to domestic demand, with a potential for exports when Yadea achieves economies of scale, Panga said.
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)
(This story has been corrected after an official revision to say the plan is for the production of electric motorcycles, not motorcycle batteries, in the headline and paragraphs 1, 2, 8 and 9)
(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Martin Petty)