MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is encouraging the Korea Importers Association (KOIMA) to ship out more Philippine products to South Korea amid an ongoing buying mission in the country.
In a statement on Tuesday, July 16, the DTI said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez urged KOIMA members to import more organic food, health care, and design-driven products such as furniture and garments.
“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 a 50-member delegation in a meeting last Thursday, July 11.
The Philippines is currently the biggest exporter of bananas and pineapples to South Korea, which ranks as the country’s 6th largest trading partner. Overall trade as of May 2019 was valued at $978.01 million, with the Philippines at a $522.10-million deficit.
But the DTI wants more fresh food to be exported, noting that agricultural products such as mango, calamansi, banana chips, coconut water, and virgin coconut oil are increasingly becoming popular in South Korea.
Lopez also shared to the delegation the opportunities in electronics parts and components as well as software and game development in the country. He had also previously promoted electronic parts trade between the Philippines and France.
For his part, KOIMA chairman Hong Kwang-hee expressed optimism in establishing better ties between the Philippines and South Korea. The two countries are pursuing talks on a potential free trade agreement. – Rappler.com