Vietnamese automaker VinFast plans to build an assembly plant in Indonesia to produce electric vehicles (EVs) as part of a broader plan to expand into markets worldwide, the company revealed in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

VinFast is controlled by Pham Nhat Vuong, Vietnam’s richest man and founder of the country’s largest private conglomerate Vingroup. In August 2023, the automaker successfully launched an initial public offering (IPO) on the US Nasdaq stock exchange.

The latest announcement followed a meeting between Indonesian trade minister Zulkifli Hasan and VinFast executives earlier this month on the fringes of the ASEAN summit in Jakarta.

In the filing, VinFast revealed plans to expand into seven new Asia-Pacific countries over the next year with deliveries in Indonesia – south east Asia’s largest [and very protected – ed] vehicle market – scheduled to start in 2024.

The company said it planned to spend an initial US$200m on an EV assembly plant with capacity of up to 50,000 units per year with investment potentially rising to US$1.2bn in the long term.

The plant would be the company’s third after its main production hub in Haiphong, Northern Vietnam, and a second plant scheduled to come on stream in 2025 in North Carolina.

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The company said its had identified up to 50 countries in which to sell its vehicles in the long term, across Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Middle East and Africa.

Indonesia has the world’s largest reserves of nickel, a key ingredient of EV batteries, while global battery manufacturers such as South Korea’s LG Energy Solution and China’s CATL aim to have battery plants up and running in the country in the next few years.