Duterte leaves for ASEAN-Korea summit in Busan

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte left for South Korea on Sunday, November 24, to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit.

The summit will be held in the South Korean city of Busan from Monday to Tuesday, November 25 to 26.

On the agenda are "trade and investment, innovation and smart city development, sustainable development, countering transboundary challenges, biodiversity, and people-to-people exchanges," said Malacañang in a statement on Sunday.

"The leaders are also expected to discuss regional security issues and reaffirm their commitment to further strengthen cooperation in maritime security and domain awareness, marine conservation, environmental protection, food and energy security, disaster management, and cybersecurity," added the Palace.

On the sidelines of the summit, Duterte will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, their 3rd meeting overall.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said bilateral agreements in the fields of education, tourism, social security, and fisheries are set to be signed.

Duterte and Moon will also discuss updates on free trade agreement (FTA) talks between their countries.

"Hopefully, if there's a good agreement on that area, not only major products like bananas and pineapples, but hopefully more products may be imported from our country," Andanar said.

South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han Dong-man said Seoul reaffirms "the importance of the FTA as a platform to expand our trade and investment relationship between our two countries."

"Hopefully, maybe next year (2020) we conclude our FTA," he added.

The Philippines and South Korea are marking the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2019. – Rappler.com