The following article was contributed by the Embassy of Philippine in Seoul for publication by The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications since 1985.—Ed.
Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. met with Republic of Korea President Yoon Suk Yeol on the sidelines of the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits and Related Summits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 12 November 2022.
As a testament to the 73-year strong partnership between both countries, both sides had a warm, productive discussion, taking stock of the gains of PH-ROK relations and its way forward.
The two Presidents agreed to strengthen and elevate relations between PH and ROK in the areas of security, infrastructure, energy, and people-to-people ties.
“I do believe that it is time that we start to work to elevate our bilateral relations to a strategic partnership,” President Marcos told ROK President Yoon. “Our newly launched bilateral platforms on science and technology, fisheries, and maritime cooperation, all contribute to the deepening of this engagement,” the Philippine President added.
The Philippine President likewise expressed gratitude to ROK for its solidarity initiative centering on maritime security that entails infusion of significant funding in various regional cooperative projects, such as ROK’s BIMP-EAGA Fund.
The Philippines and Korea held an inaugural Maritime Cooperation Dialogue last September 2022 in Busan. This is the first meeting of the Philippines and Korea tackling cooperation in various aspects of the maritime sector from maritime domain awareness, safety at sea, combatting marine pollution, fisheries cooperation, and promoting the maritime economy.
According to Philippine Ambassador Theresa Dizon-De Vega 2022 was a very active year for Philippines-Korea relations as in addition to the formal meeting between the Philippine and Korea Presidents, there were likewise several Ministerial-level visits and agreements on Veterans Cooperation, Intellectual Property Protection, Agricultural Cooperation, and Agricultural Mechanization were likewise signed. The Philippines-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement is nearing signing and is expected to further spur economic exchanges between the two countries.
In addition several Philippine Investment Missions took place this year including missions led by the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Economic Zone Autority, leading Philippine company Aboitiz Capital, Inc., and the Central Luzon Governors Group.
Several senior Philippine parliamentarians likewise visited Korea and met with their counterparts in the National Assembly. While Korean parliamentarians visited the Philippines in 2022.
All these new activities will all contribute to more active relations as both countries prepare for the historic commemoration of 75 years of diplomatic relations between.