The Philippines on Saturday requested improved market access for its fruit exports to South Korea during the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN) Economic Ministers in Manila.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez made the request to his counterpart, South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong, during their bilateral meeting, in view of efforts towards further liberalization under the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said South Korea would oblige.
"Korea was receptive and will look into the Philippine request. Eto ho 'yung bananas, pineapples, and mangoes, which are very important for the Philippines with Korea as a big export market," he said.
The economic meeting between the ASEAN and South Korea meanwhile sought to promote collaboration between the regional bloc and the Korean Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to make them active participants in the global and regional value and supply chains.
During consultations with trade representatives from the United States meanwhile, the ASEAN ministers expressed appreciation for the US' continued assistance on SME development, among others.
The Philippines' push for greater economic ties with South Korea comes just as it suspended trade relations with North Korea over its persistent missile threat.