SOUTH KOREA is hoping to forge private sector-led partnerships in Mindanao agriculture, energy and infrastructure ventures, its embassy in Manila said, expanding on South Korean companies’ long-standing relationships in Luzon and the Visayas.

“The sessions of the meeting or forum on April 26 will consist of agriculture, energy and resources, and infrastructure,” the embassy’s First Secretary Lee Youngsin said in a Viber message to BusinessWorld.

The Republic of Korea-Mindanao Sectoral Discussions and Business to Business Meeting will be held in Davao City to help South Korean companies establish networks with the Mindanao business community.

“This visit is expected to provide an avenue for leading Korean companies to build partnerships with local entrepreneurs and explore possible business opportunities in Mindanao,” Ambassador Kim In-chul said in a statement on Wednesday, noting that his country’s private sector is keen on exploring Mindanao’s investment and business potential. 

Two South Korean government organizations and eight companies have confirmed their attendance at the meeting, Mr. Lee said.

South Korea’s footprint in Mindanao includes key development cooperation projects such as Laguindingan Airport, the Korea-Philippines Vocational Training Center, and the ongoing Panguil Bay Bridge project.

“We are more than happy to facilitate business networks between (South Korea) and Mindanao,” Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Maria Belen S. Acosta was quoted as saying in the statement.

Ms. Acosta added that MinDA will look into potential areas of cooperation that are aligned with the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) agenda. South Korea is one of BIMP-EAGA’s development partners while MinDA serves as the sub-region’s Philippine Coordinating Office. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan