Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Republic of Korea President Yoon Suk Yeol witnessed the signing of the PH-ROK Free Trade Agreement by Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual and Minister of Commerce, Ahn Duk Geun, on the sidelines of the 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Jakarta and on the occasion of the 24th ASEAN-Korea Summit on September 7.
The signing of the PH-ROK Free Trade Agreement bodes well for deepening economic cooperation between the Philippines and the Republic of Korea and is a testament to the strong trade and investment relations with the ROK, the 5th largest economy in Asia and the Pacific and 12th in the world.
President Marcos said the trade deal would further enhance the vibrant relationship and partnership between the Philippines and the Republic of Korea, expressing optimism that it would go beyond government-to-government partnership to involve private companies and private sector partners.
President Marcos also told President Yoon that “the signing of the FTA is undoubtedly a big step in that regard. It can only be a successful agreement for our two countries. “I look forward to the expansion of the trade agreement between your country and mine.”
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For his part, President Yoon stated that he is eager to elevate the strategic partnership between the Philippines and the Republic of Korea, stressing that the PH-ROK FTA “will mark another important milestone” in the relationship between the two countries.
“I am also really looking forward to elevating our partnership to a strategic partnership, as we set out to do last time. And in this sense, I believe that the Korea-Philippines Free Trade Agreement signed today will mark another important milestone in our bilateral relations,” declared the President of the Republic of Korea.
Philippine Commerce Secretary Pascual stressed: “For the Philippines, this FTA is a clear demonstration of the intention to elevate the current bilateral relations with North Korea to a stronger strategic partnership. “The Philippines’ engagement with the Republic of Korea is based on trade through market access, economic cooperation and investments through collaboration in specific sectors such as critical minerals and supply chains.”
The signing of the PH-ROK Free Trade Agreement bodes well for deepening economic cooperation between the Philippines and the Republic of Korea
The Philippines and ROK began their FTA negotiations in June 2019 and concluded in October 2021. The Philippine Embassy, led by Ambassador Maria Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega and Trade Counselor Jose Ma. Dinsay attended the signing ceremony. formal announcement of the conclusion of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between the Philippines and the Republic of Korea on October 26, 2021.
The newly signed FTA is expected to eliminate tariffs on most products from both countries, opening the door to rapid growth in bilateral trade. It is expected to contribute to promoting the Philippines as a strong market for smart and sustainable investments, ensure significant economic benefits with greater access to the ROK market, and generate strategic investments in priority sectors and industries and emerging economic areas.
The Republic of Korea is a valued trade and investment partner of the Philippines. In 2022, it ranked fourth in terms of total bilateral trade, valued at US$15.45 billion, and sixth in total approved investments, valued at US$90.62 million.