ASEAN-ROK FTA on investments signed

June 2, 2009 1:28 pm 

JEJU ISLAND, South Korea, June 2 –- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo witnessed on Monday the signing of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Republic of Korea (ROK) Free Trade Agreement on Investments here.

The President joined other leaders of the ASEAN member countries and Korean President Lee Myung Bak in witnessing the accord signing at the culmination of the 20th ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit held at the Jeju International Convention Center here.

Trade Secretary Peter Favila, who signed the accord on behalf of the Philippines, said the FTA on investments is the third and final component in the establishment of an ASEAN-ROK free trade area with free-trade agreements on goods and services already in place.

The establishment of an ASEAN-ROK free trade area has paved the way for increased trade between ASEAN member countries and Korea which doubled from 46.4 billion dollars in 2004 to 90.2 billion dollars last year.

ASEAN-ROK members have expressed confidence that at the rate trade growth is going, import and export between ASEAN and ROK can reach 150 billion dollars by 2015.

Favila said the FTA on Investments between ASEAN and ROK would not only benefit the regional bloc but the individual member-countries as well.

“The ASEAN-ROK free trade area will effectively eliminate tariffs and taxes for 90 percent of traded goods between ASEAN countries and ROK by 2010,” Favila said.

Earlier, President Arroyo noted that the Philippines is the top exporter of bananas and pineapples to ROK, and with the signing of several agricultural agreements during her visit to Korea, the Philippines expects to boost its fruit exports to Korea even further. (PNA)



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