22 July 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez urged a 108-man delegation from the Korea Importers Association (KOIMA) to explore Philippine products that would complement the needs of the South Korean market.

Lopez pushed for organic, natural food and health care, as well as design-driven products, including furniture, fixtures and garments. Likewise, he emphasized the growing opportunities in electronic parts and components, and software and game development.

“We encourage you to discover other products from the Philippines that you can bring back to South Korea. The Philippine government is committed to assist your buying mission in the country. We are optimistic that this deepening relationship and trade cooperation would help our countries in addressing trade imbalance,” Lopez told the delegation.

The KOIMA delegation is currently in the Philippines for a buying mission to source raw materials and other products from the country. The delegation represents over 50 South Korean companies.

The Philippines is the biggest supplier of fresh bananas and pineapples in South Korea. Fresh mango, calamansi or Philippine lemon, coconut water, virgin coconut oil and banana chips are also noted to be popular in the South Korean market.

During the PHL-Korea Business Forum organized by DTI on July 11, 2019, officials from the DTI’s Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) and Board of Investments (BOI) presented various trade and investment opportunities in the country to the delegates.

A business matching activity was also organized that would link the delegation with over 100 Filipino companies. The said activity has facilitated over 200 business meetings.

Lopez emphasized the growing opportunities once the negotiation over the PHL-Korea free-trade agreement (FTA) has concluded. He added that Koima and Philippine exporters will greatly benefit from the agreement.

The trade chief likewise offered the assistance of the DTI to KOIMA in facilitating trade in the country.

“President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration is committed in making doing business in the country easy. So we assure you that DTI will be your partner in the Philippines as we work on streamlining more government processes and promote e-government,” Lopez assured.

Meanwhile, KOIMA Chairman Kwang-hee Hong expressed optimism in the stronger business relationship between Philippines and South Korea. He also shared that Korean importers are greatly interested in Philippine products.

Present during the forum were South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Dong-man Han, Trade Undersecretary Rowel Barba, Board of Investments Governor Angelica Cayas, CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan, DTI-EMB Director Senen Perlada, Philippine Trade and Investment Center-South Korea Commercial Counsellor Jose Ma. Dinsay, and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Alegria Limjoco.