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Farmers in the Philippines will benefit a lot from the FTA with SoKor: DAR

Secretary of Agriculture William Dar has expressed gratitude to the government of South Korea for the freshly negotiated free trade agreement (FTA) with the Philippines.

Dar told reporters on Tuesday evening, “We would want to express our sincere gratitude to the South Korean government for allowing duty-free market access to numerous Philippine farm products.”

Bananas, tinned pineapples, okra, papaya, glass eels, refined coconut oil, cashew nuts, and fruit juices are among the products included by the free trade agreement.

“The recently concluded Free Trade Agreement with South Korea bodes well for Filipino farmers, particularly those who plant bananas, because it will provide them with duty-free market access for a five-year period, starting in 2022, and gradually reducing by six percentage points every year until it reaches zero in the fifth year, or 2026,” Dar said.

The Philippine farm items specified in the deal are in addition to numerous others that are currently being exported to South Korea duty-free under the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement, such as avocado, coconut, and coconut products (desiccated coconut and crude oil), and carrageenan.

The DA prioritizes developing relationships with other countries in order to improve the Philippines’ agricultural situation.

The opening of the South Korean market to Philippine agriculture exports, according to Dar, is clear proof of the two nations’ strong economic partnership.

“We will continue to nurture this partnership because we recognize that South Korea has been and will continue to be a reliable partner in our efforts to develop and modernize our agriculture and fishery sectors, as well as to boost the Philippine economy in the face of the global pandemic,” he said.

Seoul-based According to a previous article by Yonhap News Agency, South Korea is expanding free trade agreements with rising Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, Cambodia, and Indonesia, as well as Latin American countries, in order to lessen its dependency on large economies in terms of trade.

Manila and Seoul have decided to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) in 2019 to strengthen goods and services market access.

Regional trade agreements, such as the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area and the recently finished Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, have been signed between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Ceferino Rodolfo, the Philippines’ Undersecretary of Trade and Industry, said the Philippines-Korea Free Trade Agreement has ramifications for European enterprises, particularly in the trade of high-end automobile products.

The FTA will make South Korean high-end vehicles more competitive than those from Europe.

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