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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                                 16  September 2011

Vehicle importing in Philippines protested

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Isuzu Philippines Corp. wants the government to regulate the importation of used vehicles to increase the productivity and competitiveness of local auto manufacturers.

Ryoji Yamazaki, president of Isuzu Philippines, said that tightening the requirements of used motor vehicles importation would mean more jobs for Filipinos, which can help prop up the economy.

Yamazaki said about 15,000 to 20,000 units of used trucks were imported into the country annually, while total demand for brand new truck was only pegged at 3,000 units per year.

“If the government can properly regulate the importation of used trucks, this will create a big chance for us to introduce brand new trucks,” he said.

The car industry directly employs 74,000 workers in the assembly and auto-parts manufacturing sectors, benefiting about half a million Filipinos, Elizabeth Lee, former president of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi), said in a previous interview.

According to the latest joint report of Campi and the Truck Manufacturers Association, Isuzu Philippines is one of the leading manufacturers of light trucks, as well as trucks and buses, with a market share of 57.58 percent and 24.54 percent.

The Isuzu Philippines executive said that the country was losing out on automotive investments to its neighbors in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) because of the lucrative incentive packages being given to investors there.

Yamazaki added that Japanese automakers were considering expanding their facilities to China, Thailand or Indonesia because of the twin disasters that struck the nation early this year and the appreciation of the yen.

The Philippines, under the previous Motor Vehicle Development Program and the Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Development Program, both restrict—but not prohibit—the entry of used imported vehicles and parts.

Thailand, Yamazaki added, may have banned the importation of used vehicles.

Isuzu Philippines urged the government to act fast to boost the competitiveness of the local automotive industry to persuade foreign automotive companies to invest here.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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