MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has just boarded his flight to South Korea - to mark his first official visit to the country.
In his pre-departure speech, President Duterte recognized South Korea as one of the most advanced and progressive countries in the world.
"There is much to learn from South Korea’s experience and expertise. Despite seemingly insurmountable challenges, the Republic of Korea successfully transformed itself into one of the most advanced and progressive economies [in] the world," Duterte said..
The President is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-In to reinvigorate ties between the two nations and strengthen partnership in defense and security, trade and investments, and political cooperation.
"I will likewise stress the need to work together to help achieve greater security by addressing conventional and emerging threats to stability in our [region]," he added.
Four agreements are expected to be signed in the official visit involving transportation, trade and industry, science and a loan agreement for the Cebu International Container port project.
Duterte will also meet the Filipino community in South Korea at the Convention Hall of the Grand Hilton and Convention Center.
Accompanying the President to South Korea are Cabinet members Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Secretary Martin Andanar, Secretary Fortunato del Peña, Secretary Ramon Lopez, Secretary Bong Go ad Spokesperson Harry Roque.
President Duterte is expected to be back in the Philippines on June 5.
The last Filipino leader to visit South Korea was Benigno Aquino III. He made a state visit to South Korea in October 2013 to meet then Korean leader Park Geun-Hye.