September 8, 2023
JAKARTA, Indonesia—President Marcos on Thursday said the Philippines signed a free-trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea during the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Jakarta.
Marcos said this meant more jobs and bolstered the Philippines’ investment potential.
“I also witnessed the signing of the Philippines-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement, which clearly demonstrates the shared commitment of both countries to their mutual economic growth and development,” said the President in his YouTube Channel.
“The FTA will strengthen our bilateral trade and investment relations with the Republic of Korea, especially as it generates jobs in that contributes to the Philippines’ value proposition as an ideal regional hub for smart and sustainable investments,” he noted.
According to the President, the FTA reflected the greater economic friendship between the two countries.
“The signing of the FTA is a testament to the realization of many opportunities for complementation and collaboration between the Philippines and South Korea, and an even greater milestone for our economic friendship,” he said.
Manila’s priority interest in an FTA with the East Asian country lies in the export of banana and processed pineapples, exports goods which are currently levied a 30-percent tariff by Seoul.
“That is very critical for us in terms of trade value because that is big. We are also competitively disadvantaged vis-à-vis Vietnam,” Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo had earlier said.
The Philippine trade official explained that Vietnam signed an FTA with South Korea in 2015, which reduced and eventually set the two-way tariffs for bananas to zero after several years. INQ