(Eagle News) — The Philippines and South Korea signed five agreements, namely on cooperation in social security, tourism, culture and sports, as well as the much anticipated free trade between the two countries, following the bilateral meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
The two leaders witnessed the signing of the agreements which were as follows:
· Agreement on social security between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Republic of Korea. The signatories were Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr. of the Republic of the Philippines and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha of the Republic of Korea
· Implementation program of the MOU on tourism cooperation between the Department of Tourism of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, signed by Secretary of Tourism Bernadette Romulo-Puyat of the Republic of the Philippines and Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Park Yang-woo of the Republic of Korea
· Joint statement by the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Korea on the early achievement package of the negotiations of the Philippines-Korea free trade agreement. It was signed by Secretary of Trade and Industry Ramon Lopez of the Republic of the Philippines and Minister for Trade Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea
· Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in fisheries
· Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of education.
-President Duterte invites top South Korean companies to invest in PHL-
Meanwhile, President Duterte also invited top companies in South Korea to expand or invest in the Philippines, and assured them of his protection.
During a courtesy call of South Korea’s major companies on President Duterte Monday at the Paradise Hotel in South Korea, the Chief Executive vowed to shield them from corruption and abuse particularly on ease of doing business, quick issuance of permits, and full guarantee on the return of their investments and remittances.
The Korean companies, in return, made commitments to invest in the Philippines, with some already operating in the country and some are expanding. They promised to participate in different infrastructure projects especially the administration’s Build, Build, Build program.
The President said the Philippines wants continued growth but does not have funds to sustain it, noting foreign investors could play an important role. He welcomed South Korean companies to do business in almost all of the country’s industries, from infrastructure to food manufacturing and others.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) organized Monday’s event.
President Duterte is in South Korea for the 2019 Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit. (with a report from PND)