Philippines says it signs free trade agreement with South Korea

September 8, 2023 - 5:23 AM
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Philippine's President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. leaves after attending the East Asia Summit at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. (Achmad Ibrahim/Pool via Reuters)

 The Philippines has signed a free trade deal with South Korea, its president said on Thursday, completing four years of negotiations between the countries on trade and investment ties.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, who was in Jakarta for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, announced the signing of the deal in a video message on his YouTube page.

He said the signing was “a testament to the realization of the many opportunities for complementation and collaboration between the Philippines and the South Korea and an even greater milestone for our economic friendship”.

Marcos did not provide details about the agreement, but the Philippines‘ Department of Trade and Industry has said previously that it should give Manila improved market access for a wide range of goods, including agricultural products such as bananas.

In 2022, the Philippines exported $3.12 billion worth of goods to South Korea, making it the country’s seventh-largest export market.

– Reporting by Karen LemaEditing by Helen Popper