Minister Han Koo Yeo

Ambassador Kim Inchul

Ambassador Tess De Vega

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen;

First of all, I would like to thank Trade Minister Han-Koo Yeo for his leadership which stewarded this bilateral FTA negotiations towards its conclusion. Of course, I would also like to thank Former Trade Minister Yoo Myung-Hee for the dedication she had put in the initiation of this talk.

This FTA talks started with the end in mind, of prospering the long and deep relationship between our two nations, in times of the Korean war and in times of peace and development.

After more than two years of FTA negotiations, our two countries have finally reached a substantial conclusion. This was made possible through the hard work and persistence of our respective negotiating teams. The negotiations went through a rigorous process to find balance between our respective countries’ interests and sensitivities.

In line with our agreed objectives when we started this negotiations, we were able to achieve a mutually beneficial and high level of liberalization on trade in goods. This will stimulate trade and hopefully allow for more investments from Korea providing avenues for Korean companies and industries to diversify and expand their economic interests in other ASEAN countries, which is in line with the promotion of Korea’s New Southern Policy. We hope that, through our joint promotion of Korea’s New Southern Policy, our countries may open more platforms for partnerships anchored on mutual benefit and cooperation.

We would also like to thank Korea for accepting all our proposals under the Economic and Technical Cooperation Chapter, particularly on the inclusion of industrial development and agreeing to cooperate on addressing pandemics and other public health emergencies, among others. Both sides have also agreed to revisit discussions on Trade in Services and Investment Chapters a year after the entry into force of the FTA.

We expect that this agreement will provide significant opportunities for business, investment and jobs both in the Philippines and Korea. This FTA, together with the soon to be ratified RCEP Agreement, represent milestones on our path towards a more robust and resilient economic partnership.

We hope for your continued support as we endeavor to have the FTA signed before February 2022.

Kamsahamnida! ♦

Date of Release: 26 October 2021