PH likely to sign free trade deal with South Korea ’very soon’: DTI Michelle Ong
ABS CBN | 15 February 2023
PH likely to sign free trade deal with South Korea ’very soon’: DTI
by Michelle Ong
MANILA - The Philippines and South Korea may sign a free trade deal "very soon" as officials of the two countries continue discussions, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said Wednesday.
In an interview on ANC, Pascual said that following President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s trip to Japan, the government is eyeing to invite South Korean leaders to the country.
"We were thinking of Korea. In case of Korea, we will probably invite the leadership of Korea to visit us instead. In the meantime, we are completing our free trade agreement with Korea, South Korea that is, and I might sign it very soon," Pascual said.
A free trade deal will cut tariffs for select products to zero which is seen to boost commerce between participating nations.
“This will help us improve our export of some of our agricultural products because of reduction in tariff and we’ll be getting technology supply from Korea," Pascual said.
Although Marcos has been criticized by some groups for his successive travels abroad, Pascual said the trips have yielded billions in dollars of investment pledges.
His most recent working visit to Japan gathered some $13 billion or P700 billion in pledges that could materialize within the year, Pascual said.
"The beauty of the pledges is that many of them had discussions with partners in the Philippines. It’s very proximate that we will have the investments happening within the year for many of them," he said.
"It keeps us busy and trying our best to be good salesman for the country. The best salesman of course is our President who had the opportunity to declare that the Philippines is open for business and that we have an enabling environment to support our invitation to foreign investors to take a look at the Philippines," he added.