Korea's biggest delegation of 182 Executives to arrive the Philippines for Investment

The Philippines' Department of Trade and Industry & Korea Importers Association (KOIMA) 

K-Biz to visit Philippines in search of trade opportunities

The biggest delegation of South Korean businessmen will arrive this week to look at potential trade, investment and tourism opportunities in the Philippines, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

DTI said a 182-strong mission composed of chief executives and senior officers belonging to the Korea Importers Association (KOIMA) will visit the Philippines from July 17-20.

KOIMA groups over 8,000 public and private importers that handle 70 percent of South Korea's major imports such as agricultural produce, consumer goods, food and industrial products.

DTI-Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP) said this is the biggest inbound business mission to come from South Korea.

"We view the delegation's visit as an opportunity to further improve our economic relations with South Korea. We also look at it as support to our efforts in raising awareness about the Philippines' supply capabilities and sustaining the current momentum of tourism interest among Koreans," Trade Undersecretary Ponciano C. Manalo Jr. said in a statement.

"The DTI also sees the opportunity to develop and expand the current inventory of Philippine exports by exposing the group of Korean importers to alternative products and services. Examples of these products are organic chemicals, oleo-chemicals, minerals other than copper, electronics, motorcycle parts," Manalo said.

The visiting South Korean business mission will attend a DTI-led trade and investment seminar as well as a business matching session with Filipinos, and will also join a Department of Tourism-led (DOT) tour at a plantation resort.

DTI quoted KOIMA as saying that the group's Philippine visit is "one of the major activities of the association backed by [the South Korean] government."

"This year, the Philippines was selected over Thailand and Myanmar as the country to be visited by KOIMA's summer buying mission," Manalo said.

DTI-BETP data showed that two-way trade between the Philippines and South Korea last year reached $7.4 billion. Philippine imports outnumbered exports, with the former increasing 1.19 percent to $4.5 billion last year from $4.4 billion in 2011—making South Korea the fifth largest source of imports. But Philippine exports rose at a faster 27.93 percent to $2.9 billion last year from $2.2 billion in 2011, making South Korea the sixth biggest export destination.

The Philippines and South Korea enjoy free trade under the Asean-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA).

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