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Marcos: PH, South Korea to sign free trade pact this year

By: Julie Aurelio - | May 04,2024 - 10:47 AM

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

FILE PHOTO: President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. | Photo from the Official Facebook page of Bongbong Marcos

President Marcos believes that the Philippines and South Korea will approve their free trade agreement (FTA) this year.

He also aims for a separate deal to grant duty-free access for certain Philippine products to the South Korean market. The FTA, signed in September 2023 during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Indonesia, is crucial for their trade relationship, but it still needs approval from both countries’ legislatures.

“I think we will get it done, I think we will get it ratified,” he said in an interview with Maeil Business Newspaper chair and publisher Chang Dae-Whan in Malacañang.

The FTA will remove tariffs on most products from the two countries and is seen to boost rapid growth in bilateral trade and promote the Philippines as a strong market for smart, sustainable investments.

South Korea is a valued trade and investment partner of the Philippines, ranking fourth in total bilateral trade worth $15.45 billion and sixth in total approved investments at $90.62 billion.

He added that the Philippines is pushing for a separate, future agreement with South Korea to encourage it to allow some Philippine products like tropical fruits, automotive parts and semiconductors to have duty-free access to South Korea’s market.

The President also highlighted the robust partnership between the Philippines and South Korea as the two nations mark 75 years of diplomatic relations this year.

“This has been a very important partnership for the Philippines and also for the Republic of South Korea. What we are now trying to do is to promote the partnerships that we have begun in the past so that the exchange between our two countries will increase and will be mutually beneficial to both the Republic of Korea and the Republic of the Philippines,” he said.

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TAGS: Bongbong Marcos, South Korea, trade

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