President Benigno Aquino 3rd will meet with Korean President Park Geun-hye when he visits South Korea October 17-18.
Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said Friday the two leaders are expected to discuss common political issues, defense-related concerns, and economic and development cooperation.
The two leaders are also expected to exchange views on regional and international challenges “that may be faced by both countries”, Valte said.
Aquino will also meet with the Korean business community in line with “the continuing thrust of the President to attract business to the Philippines,” she added.
South Korea is one the country’s biggest trade partners and the top source of tourists for the Philippines.
Tourism will be a significant topic during the Aquino visit, Valte said.
“How significant? Given that we have very strong people-to-people ties, remember that South Korea is the number one country that sends visitors and tourists to the Philippines…And we also have a good number of OFWs who are there. It would be good for the two leaders to meet and to have time to discuss the issues that concern both countries,” she said.
Department of Tourism (DOT) data showed that South Koreans were the leading visitors to the Philippines. Last year, 1,031,454 Koreans visited the country. From January to March 2013, South Korean arrivals reach 328,454.
Valte said the Palace will announce the expenses and the official delegation that will accompany President Aquino a few days before his departure.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE