South Korean firms have expressed intention to participate in the Philippine government’s infrastructure projects, as business leaders met with President Rodrigo Duterte in Busan, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
In a courtesy call to South Korea’s major companies on Monday, Duterte assured Korean businesses of a corruption-free environment, including smooth implementation of processes such as the issuance of permits.
The President also guaranteed full return of investments and remittances.
“The President said the Philippines wants continued growth but does not have funds to sustain it, noting foreign investors could play an important role,” the Palace said.
“He welcomed South Korean companies to do business in almost all of the country’s industries, from infrastructure to food manufacturing and others,” it added.
The President’s invitation gained a positive response from foreign companies, with some business leaders promising to participate in the Philippines’ infrastructure projects, particularly in the government’s flagship Build, Build, Build program.
“The Korean companies, in return, made commitments to invest in the Philippines, with some already operating in the country and some are expanding,” the Palace said.
“They promised to participate in different infrastructure projects especially the administration’s Build, Build, Build program,” it added.
The President arrived in South Korea on Monday for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit, where the two nations signed five cooperation agreements.
“The agreements are seen to boost cooperation on social security, tourism, culture and sports, as well as the much-anticipated free trade agreement between the two countries,” the Palace said.
Meanwhile, Duterte expressed his gratitude to President Moon Jae-in for South Korea’s $100,000-donation for the earthquake victims in Mindanao last month.
“Clearly, at no other time in our shared history have the bonds between our people been this strong,” Duterte said during their bilateral meeting.
“Solidarity and mutual aid have been the hallmark of the two countries’ ties since 1950,” he added.
The President also invited Moon to visit the Philippines next year.
This year, the Philippines and South Korea commemorate 70 years of bilateral relations.