MANILA, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines and South Korea have signed a free trade agreement (FTA) aimed at enhancing market access between the two Asian countries, the Philippine government said on Friday.
The trade ministers of the two countries signed on Thursday the trade agreement during the ASEAN-South Korea summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, said the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) of the Philippines.
Leaders of both countries, Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, witnessed the signing.
With the FTA inked, the Philippines expects that South Korea could open its market access to Philippine agriculture products, including tropical fruits, the PCO said.
The partnership can also lead to strategic investments in priority sectors and industries, such as manufacturing and exports, the PCO added.
South Korea is a major economic partner of the Philippines. In 2022, it ranked fourth to the Philippines in total bilateral trade valued at around 15.45 billion U.S. dollars, and sixth in total approved investments valued at 90.62 million dollars.
Marcos called the FTA "a big step" and the bilateral relationship "vibrant and accelerating," looking forward to a further expansion of the trade agreement that can go "beyond the government-to-government partnerships."
Yoon said South Korea is keen on expanding opportunities for overseas Filipino workers under the "employment permit system." ■