By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter
The governments of the Philippines and South Korea on Monday, June 4, marked their long-standing friendship by forging at least five bilateral agreements.
Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae-in witnessed the signing of the following agreements between the two states on Monday afternoon in Cheong Wa Dae, Seoul:
• Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) of the Philippines and the Ministry of Science and ICT of Republic of Korea, signed by Department of Science and Technology (DoST) Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña and Minister of Science and Information and communication technology (ICT) You Young Min;
• MoU between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the Philippines and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) on Trade and Economic Cooperation, signed by DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez and Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Paik Ungyu;
• MoU for Cooperation on the Expansion of Renewable Energy Deployment between the Department of National Defense (DND) of the Philippines and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) of Korea, signed by DND Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana and Minister of Trade, Industry, and Energy Paik Ungyu;
• MoU between the Department of Transportation (DOTr) of the Philippines and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) of Korea Concerning Cooperation in the Field of Transport, signed by DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kim Hyun-mee; and
• Loan Agreement on New Cebu International Container Port Project between the Government of Republic of the Philippines and the Export-Import Bank of Korea, signed by Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and Export-Import Bank of Korea Chairman Eun Sung-soo.
In their joint statement, South Korean President Jae-in said both governments have agreed to significantly increase their “bilateral trade volume that currently stands at approximately 15 billion dollars and to further expand the investment between the two countries.”
“The Republic of Korea will also actively participate in the national developments of the Philippines. In particular, I look forward to seeing the Korean companies’ participation further expanded in the fields of transportation, energy and infrastructure through our cooperation in the new industries such as info-communications as well as science and technology. We will create the growth engine for the future together,” the South Korean leader added.
Mr. Jae-in also said he hopes to see more Filipinos visitors in South Korea. “There are currently 93,000 Koreans living in the Philippines, while 60,000 Filipinos are living in South Korea,” he noted.
For his part, Mr. Duterte said his official visit underscores the long-standing ties and the common commitment of both the Philippines and South Korea “to work together in achieving greater things.”
“The signing of bilateral agreements promises not just a growth for our economies but also ushers in a new era of stronger cooperation and partnership,” he added.
The two leaders also emphasized the “need for security and stability in the region.”
“After all, these are the foundations of solid growth for both our nations,” Mr. Duterte said.
By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter