South Korean President Lee set for 3-day PHL state visit on Nov. 20-22

November 14, 2011 11:30 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 14 — Republic of Korea (ROK) President Lee Myung-bak will be coming for a state visit to the Philippines from November 20 to 22 in a bid to strengthen friendly relations and establish greater cooperation between the Philippines and South Korea, a Palace official said on Monday.

The three-day state visit to the Philippines of President Lee is upon the invitation of President Benigno S. Aquino III, according to Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Monday.

"According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), magkakaroon po ng Korea-Philippines Business Forum organized by the Philippine and Korean Chambers of Commerce and Industry. President Lee will also participate in a town hall meeting at the Ateneo de Manila University," Valte said.

With the increasing number of South Korean tourists coming to the Philippines, Valte said both countries will continue to support each other in enhancing public information and tourism promotion activities.

The DFA announced that President Lee is scheduled to meet with President Aquino to discuss ways to further enhance the rapidly growing relations between the two countries.

Recent developments and the future direction of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-ROK relations will also be discussed, according to the DFA.

"In the past several years, the Republic of Korea has consistently been the top source of foreign tourists to the Philippines. Last year, the figure reached 740,000, accounting for 21 percent of all foreign tourists that visited the Philippines in 2010," the DFA said in a statement issued on Monday.

The Republic of Korea also counts among the leading trade, investment, and development partners of the Philippines, particularly in the fields of agriculture and infrastructure.

President Lee’s visit comes at an important point in the 62-year long history of Philippine-Republic of Korea bilateral relations, which was formally established in 1949. The Philippine-ROK friendship was reinforced by the deployment of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) in September 1950 to join the United States-led 16-nation coalition in defending the ROK against the communist Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. (PNA)

DCT/PCOO/ssc

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