Hyundai Motor Company is looking to expand operations further in the southeast Asian region and the Philippines is on the list of countries where the Korean automaker can put up either an auto parts manufacturing plant or an assembly plant.

This was the message relayed by Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo - President and CEO of Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI), the exclusive distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the Philipines - on opening day of the 2016 Manila International Auto Show (MIAS).

“(We’re) reviewing not only investments but possible complementation assembly in ASEAN because there will be a swapping of products in terms of complementation,” said Agudo.

One of the expansion solutions for Hyundai is to set up a manufacturing plant in the (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) ASEAN, which will serve as the source for demand in the region.

“We’re getting there. But as I’ve said, we are currently reviewing the strength, the business strategy of Hyundai not only in the Philippines but for the entire ASEAN,” added Agudo.

The Philippines falls right behind China as one of the strongest partners of Hyundai in Asia, according to Agudo.

One of the factors that make the Philippines as desirable destination for auto parts manufacturing or assembly is the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which reduces tariff of Korean vehicles imported to ASEAN countries to 5% from 25%.