MANILA - It took 10 years of negotiations before the Philippines finally sent its first commercial okra shipment to South Korea, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said over the weekend.
"This will strengthen our efforts to really support the high-value crops not only for local consumption but also for exports," Dar said.
The first 1,800 kilograms of okra cargo was sent to Incheon via flight PR 8648 on June 6, PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said in a Facebook post.
Dar, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez as well as officials from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bureau of Plant Industry, Philippine Okra Producers and Exporters Association were present during the cargo loading, PAL said.
Lopez said the Philippines would try to bring down the 27 percent okra tariff when shipping to Korea to 0 percent.
"Today's cargo flight is a milestone for the Philippine agri-business sector. It reflects the business opportunities that new markets - like Korea - are currently giving the farming and export sectors," PAL said.
Philippine okra is already being exported to Japan, which has now expanded to Korea.