THE Philippines and South Korea have signed an agreement that aims to enhance their collaboration in aquaculture and fisheries, and promote fisheries trade and investment.
Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Agriculture Secretary William Dar and South Korean Oceans and Fisheries Minister Seong-Hyeok Moon in the South Korean city of Busan on Wednesday, their agencies would pursue and promote scientific and technical, economic and trade cooperation in fisheries and aquaculture.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has been collaborating with South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Mafra) and agriculture-related agencies to develop new partnerships leading to projects that would bolster agricultural and rural development and facilitate market access of Philippine agricultural products.
“DA is serious in its commitment to engage and strengthen bilateral relations with South Korea, being one of the leading food importers in the world, requiring almost $30 billion food imports,” Dar said, adding that the East Asian nation “is one of the most lucrative markets for Philippine agri-fisheries products.”
Since 2016, exports of high-value seafood and fishery products to South Korea has grown by an average of almost 17 percent. It generated $28 million in earnings for the Philippines in 2018.
Among these exports are tuna, abalone, sea cucumber, octopus, shrimps and prawns, and seaweed.
The MoU was signed as part of the Philippine side meetings during the 2019 Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit on November 25 and 26, held to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the dialogue partnership between the regional bloc and South Korea.
The summit is considered the biggest international conference that South Korea hosted under the administration of President Moon Jae-in.