Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul S. Hernandez led a 25-man delegation from the Business and Diplomatic Community of Korea to take a look at the country’s improved investment landscape and explore business opportunities through an investment briefing held at the Board of Investments in Makati City on October 21, 2016.

The Business and Diplomatic Community of Korea was composed of foreign ambassadors from Oman, Uruguay, Spain, and Argentina, members of the Corps of Honorary Consuls in Korea, and C-level business sector representatives from Yu Yu Pharma, Inc., MES Corporation, CNS International, InWoo Ecotech, Achim Co., Ltd., Seoul City Gas Co., Ltd. and Industrial Bank of Korea.

The Korean delegation was assured of the government’s commitment to provide assistance to investors who would want to set up or expand their operations in the country. “We are looking forward to the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership by next year. It’s really going to be a more intensive engagement between the Philippines and the rest of Asia, Korea being one of our important trade and investments partner” said Trade Assistant Secretary and Foreign Trade Service Corps’ Manila Coordinating Office Head Michelle Fatima S. Sanchez who delivered the remarks at the opening program of the investment briefing on behalf of the Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Nora Terrado.

BOI Director for International Investments Promotion Angelica Cayas boasted of the country’s economic resilience despite external shocks as evident in the growth of the economy, which is at 7 percent in the second quarter of the year, making the Philippines as one the fastest growing economies in the Asian region.

Director Cayas also cited the investment opportunities for Korean companies in the various sectors including shipbuilding, automotive manufacturing (including electronic auto-parts), food production, food processing and agribusiness, electronics (including LED modules, printers, ICs, electronic auto parts, among others), energy (including renewable energy), finance and banking, infrastructure and PPP, tourism industry (hotel, resort w/ golf course, Korean retirement village), and other labor-intensive Korean industries (shoes, jewelry, garments).

The BOI briefing, which commenced the delegation’s five-day “Visit the Philippine Again 2016 Tour”, included an open forum and a business matching session. Aside from Metro Manila, the delegates also visited Bohol.

During the first quarter of 2016, NICE Information Service, a credit rating agency in Korea, upgraded the country to BBB with Stable Outlook. This boosted anew the confidence of the Korean business community to view the PH as an investment destination.

The Philippines was the first country in the ASEAN region to establish official ties with South Korea. South Korea is a vital business partner for the country as it has significant contributions to PH’s economic growth and holds a strong position in terms of investment relations with PH. For the full year 2015, KR placed 3rd in the list of top foreign investing countries in the PH cutting in Php 23.2 billion (US$ 509 million) or 9.4% share of the total foreign investments. Investment pledges from KR increased by 457.5%, mostly intended to finance projects in accommodation and food services.