MANILA - A Finnish company may enter into a partnership with rubber farmers in Mindanao to set up a $200-million tire factory, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Wednesday.
Once operational, Black Donuts Engineering's facility could produce up to four million tires annually, Piñol said.
It will tap rubber plantations in North Cotabato, Basilan, Cagayan Valley, Abra, Palawan, and Negros Oriental for the factory, which will be set up by 2020, he said.
BDE of Finland designs and constructs tire factories worldwide, including India, Africa, China and Indonesia, he said.
Company officials are in the Philippines to assess the local rubber industry and see if a build-operate-transfer scheme for the factory is doable, he said.
"A Filipino-owned tire factory near the production areas is expected to provide a ready market for the farmers' produce, provide jobs and spur the development of more rubber farms in the denuded mountains of Mindanao and other parts of the country," Piñol said.