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Indian firm eyes bus manufacturing in PH

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it would help an Indian conglomerate to look for a local partner in manufacturing buses for the Philippines.

The DTI said that the Hinduja Group wanted to make buses for the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program, an initiative under the Duterte administration that seeks to phase out old PUVs in favor of newer and environment-friendly ones.

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The DTI extended the agency’s support to the Hinduja Group should it decide to have a partner in the business venture.

The Hinduja Group is one of the biggest diversified groups in the world with investments in automotive, oil and gas, real estate, power, healthcare, trading, information technology, media, banking and finance.

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It owns Ashok Leyland, the fourth-largest bus manufacturer in the world. However, it is not clear if Ashok would be tapped for the group’s business venture in the Philippines.

The group is already present in the country through its subsidiary, Hinduja Global Solutions Philippines, an IT-BPO company with some 9,000 employees at its 11 sites located in Quezon City, Muntinlupa City and Iloilo City.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez had a meeting with Prakash P. Hinduja, chair of the Hinduja Group in Europe, wherein Lopez assured the official of his commitment in helping them look for a local partner.

According to the DTI, the group chair said he previously met with the Department of Transportation, noting that the agency needed more than 100,000 vehicles for the modernization program.

The timeline for the group’s venture has not been disclosed yet.

Aside from buses, the trade chief also urged the company to manufacture modern jeepneys and electric vehicles in the country.

Lopez said this was in line with DTI’s plan to boost Philippine manufacturing to create jobs, answer domestic and export demand, and lessen the country’s dependence on imported products.

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TAGS: DTI, Hinduja Group
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