DTI Pushes Special Program for EV Industry to Boost Trade, Investments with South Korea

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Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez underscored that for the Philippines to be a production hub of electric vehicles (EV) in the future, the government should work on a special program that will attract investors in the different stages of the value chain in the EV industry. The special program can also boost the bilateral trade and investments between the Philippines and South Korea. "We are studying what other support we can provide to the e-vehicle industry. A special program that will quickly attract foreign and local investors in this industry of the future, if it is to compete with other countries with respect to becoming a preferred location for e-vehicle production," shared Lopez to officials from the Republic of Korea Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE), Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), as well as South Korean companies during the Korea-ASEAN FTA Support Center Grand Opening Ceremony on June 25. The initiative came after the recent meeting of Lopez with the International Electric Vehicle Association and other companies in the EV industry in South Korea earlier this month. The group was encouraging the Philippine government to provide additional support to attract more investors in the EV and parts industry, aside from the usual fiscal incentives. The association also suggested that aside from the usual tax holidays, there's a need for performance-based, time-bound incentives, and demand creating incentives from other private groups like free parking or discounted toll fares to jumpstart this new industry, just like what are offered in South Korea and other ASEAN Member States. "We see so much potential and opportunities in our e-vehicle industry that can be further strengthened with our deepening bilateral relationship with a manufacturing powerhouse like South Korea," said the DTI secretary. Meanwhile, Lopez commended the MOTIE for opening the Manila Support Center to promote trade between the two countries and assist businesses in maximizing the gains of the future Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The KOTRA Manila FTA Support Center is the fourth support center to be opened in the ASEAN region. It will offer services such as FTA seminars, consultations on trade procedure, tax, tariff and legal advice, assistance for grievance resolution, as well as public relation activities. Last June 3, the Philippines and South Korea launched the negotiations for an FTA, which is eyed to be completed by September this year, in time for the signing on November by the two leaders.

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