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[ASEAN-Korea summit] Korea, Philippines to speed up FTA talks

BUSAN -- South Korea and the Philippines on Monday signed an agreement opening their markets for selected products and resolved to conclude free trade negotiations within next year. 

President Moon Jae-in and President Rodrigo Duterte pose ahead of summit talks in Busan on Monday. Yonhap
President Moon Jae-in and President Rodrigo Duterte pose ahead of summit talks in Busan on Monday. Yonhap

The agreement was signed after President Moon Jae-in and President Rodrigo Duterte’s summit on the sidelines of the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit in Busan.

Under the trade agreement, the Philippines will open its markets for selected automotive parts, pharmaceuticals and petrochemical products. In return, Korea will open its markets to a number of items produced in the Philippines, including clothing and automobile airbags.

At the summit, Moon said bilateral relations have developed to a point that warrants consideration of upgrading them to a strategic partnership.

“On the foundations of the history of friendship and trust, conditions have been met for considering upgrading to a strategic partnership. Through upgrading of relations, the two countries’ cooperation will increase and achieve prosperity together,” Moon said.

In addition to the trade agreement, the two sides also signed a social security treaty. They also made plans to put into action a bilateral memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of tourism.

Under the social security treaty, Koreans and Filipinos working in each other’s countries will be exempted from paying into the host country’s national pension system for up to eight years. The treaty also states that when nationals of the two countries apply for state pensions in the other country, pension payments made in their own countries will be taken into account.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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