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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Kia EV5 electric vehicle is displayed at the Kia EV Day event in Yeoju, South Korea, October 10, 2023. REUTERS/Heekyong Yang/File Photo

BANGKOK (Reuters) – South Korean car maker Kia Corp is in talks with Thailand to build an electric vehicle facility in the Southeast Asian country, two government sources said on Tuesday, as the latter bids to be a top EV maker in the region.

Discussions are ongoing and focused on incentives sought by the carmaker from the Thai government, said the sources, who declined to be named as they were not authorized to speak on the matter.

“They have a serious proposal that they’ve come with,” one of the sources said, referring to Kia. “The ball is in their court.”

Kia and Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) did not immediately respond to questions from Reuters.

BOI had said in January that Kia was considering an investment in Thailand after media reports said the Korean firm had decided against it.

Southeast Asia’s largest car producer and exporter, Thailand has rolled out incentives, tax breaks and other measures to position itself as a regional frontrunner for EV production.

Thailand is separately also in talks with Tesla (NASDAQ:) over a new facility that could include EV and battery production, an official said on Monday.

The country aims to convert about 30% of its annual production of 2.5 million vehicles into EVs by 2030, according to a government plan.

The Thai vehicle market, long monopolized by Japanese carmakers like Toyota (NYSE:) Motors and Honda Motor Co (NYSE:), has drawn over $1.44 billion in investment commitments from Chinese EV makers to build production facilities.

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