Indonesia's president visits Vietnam's EV maker Vinfast, says conditions ready for new plant


Joko Widodo visited VinFast’s factory in Vietnam. (Photo: Joko Widodo's Facebook)

Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited Vietnam’s automaker VinFast’s factory on Jan 13 and said that he would create the necessary conditions for the EV maker to be able to quickly build a plant and invest in Indonesia.

While vising the factory in the port city of Haiphong in northern Vietnam, Widodo also took the opportunity to sit behind the wheel of a VinFast electric car, concluding his three-day visit to Vietnam.

VinFast has announced plans to invest $1.2 billion in Indonesia, intending to build a factory with the capacity to produce up to 50,000 vehicles annually. Green SM, an EV taxi operator mostly owned by VinFast’s founder, also revealed an investment plan of $900 million in Indonesia.

Green SM had earlier signed an agreement with the Indonesian technology company PT GoTo Gojek Tokopedia Tbk, the owner of Gojek transportation services, to assist in their transition to electric vehicles for their taxi service.

VinFast’s plans to expand in Indonesia are part of their global ambition of selling EVs in 50 markets worldwide. It is exporting EVs to the U.S. and building a $4 billion EV factory in North Carolina, where production is predicted to begin this year.

Earlier this month the company said it planned to spend up to $2 billion to build an EV factory in India, the world’s third-largest auto market by sales.

VinFast is part of Vingroup, a vast conglomerate that began as an instant noodle company in Ukraine during the 1990s. Founded and led by Vietnam’s wealthiest man, Pham Nhat Vuong.

Both Vietnam and Indonesia have been pledged billions of dollars by the Group of Seven to help transition away from fossil fuel as a part of a Just Energy Transition Partnership.

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