MANILA, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines and South Korea concluded their free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations on Tuesday, the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.
In a statement, the DTI said Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and South Korean Trade Minister Yeo Han-Koo signed and issued a joint statement announcing the conclusion of the FTA negotiations between the two countries.
The announcement came ahead of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-South Korea summit held Tuesday.
The 38th and 39th ASEAN summits and related summits kick-started on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Brunei via virtual conference, with fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and promoting economic recovery high on the agenda.
"The FTA will help contribute to the economic recovery efforts of the Philippines and South Korea," the statement said, adding that the FTA paves the way for "a wider economic cooperation" between the two countries.
The Philippines-South Korea FTA talks started in June 2019. The Philippine trade secretary said the FTA, once enforced, "will be an important vehicle for enhancing trade flows, and generating more investment and employment opportunities in the process."