Duterte invites South Korea's Moon to visit PH

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 25 2019 06:19 PM

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (R) shakes hands with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit in Busan, South Korea, November 25, 2019. Yonhap via Reuters

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte invited on Monday his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, to visit the Philippines next year.

The Philippine leader extended the invitation during his bilateral meeting with Moon, which also saw the signing of 4 agreements in tourism, fisheries, education, and social security.

Should Moon accept Duterte's invitation, it would be a good opportunity for Manila and Seoul to sign a free-trade agreement, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

"Si President Duterte invited naman President Moon for a state visit next year so that will be a good timing for the signing of the FTA," Lopez told reporters in Busan.

Manila and Seoul were expected to sign a free-trade agreement during Duterte's visit but both countries instead inked an "early achievement package" or a progress report on the upcoming deal.

Duterte is in South Korea to attend the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit in Busan, marking his second visit to the country after a 2018 official visit to Seoul.

Earlier in the day, President Duterte met with businessmen from leading South Korean companies where he promised "protection" for those who would invest in the Philippines.