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Philippines to become production hub, exporter of vehicles in ASEAN

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With the recent meeting of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez with Mitsubishi Motors Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Osamu Masuko on the strong collaboration between Philippines and Japan, the DTI Chief is bullish and hopeful with what transpired during their his meeting with MMC’s Chairman and CEO.

According to Lopez, he encouraged the Mitsubishi to start producing car models that can be exported as the agency is promoting an export program for locally manufactured vehicles that would target a bigger market for the country’s manufacturing base and help address PH’s trade deficit, especially with two ASEAN vehicle exporters—Indonesia and Thailand.

“The intention is to produce specific models that will be exported to our neighbors in ASEAN. The good thing here is, as MMC is already present in other ASEAN countries like Thailand and Indonesia, they are planning to make certain countries as production hub for certain models, which will serve their respective domestic and export markets,” the Trade Chief said.

The car company is preparing to tap a larger market for the country’s manufacturing base and help address the widening trade deficit.

Currently, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) locally produces the Mirage/G4 under the government’s Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program, which aims to attract investments, stimulate demand, develop a vibrant local auto parts supplier base, and implement industry regulations that will revitalize the country’s automotive industry to turn it into a regional automotive manufacturing hub.

Masuko-san relayed MMC’s plans to produce more units of Mirage/G4 and L300 in PH and to start exporting these to the ASEAN market by 2019. He also mentioned their intention to collaborate with PH government to develop the electric vehicle industry in PH.

The Trade Chief is optimistic on the vehicle export program: “We keep saying that building an export manufacturing base is the way to go. It is also a good import substitution strategy. Through this initiative, we will address the trade imbalance and provide more jobs to our countrymen.”

The program aims to attract investments, stimulate demand, develop a vibrant local auto parts supplier base and implement industry regulations to revitalize the country’s automotive industry and turn it into a regional automotive manufacturing hub.

Interestingly, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. investment to the Philippines is P5.74 billion to level-up local production and the second biggest automotive player in the Philippines with a market share of 19 percent as of Novembe 2018.

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