Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III will make a State visit to the Republic of Korea (RoK) beginning October 17 at the invitation of President Park Geun-hye, according to the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

During the two-day visit, the two leaders will hold talks to discuss bilateral issues such as political dialogue, defense cooperation, trade and investments relations, official development assistance, consular and labour cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, among others. Regional issues will also be discussed.

The two leaders will witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation between the defense ministries of the Philippines and the RoK. This MoU covers a wide range of cooperation from exchange of visits by military personnel and experts to humanitarian assistance and international peacekeeping activities.

As scheduled, President Aquino will meet with the Korean business community, including executives of leading Korean conglomerates to discuss investment opportunities in the light of the Philippine economy’s sustained growth and development.

The Philippines and the Republic of Korea established diplomatic relations on March 3, 1949. The RoK is one of the Philippines’ major investment and trade partners. Last year, bilateral trade amounted to more than 7.4 billion USD.

The RoK is also the Philippines' top source of tourists reaching more than a million in 2012 or nearly a quarter of total tourist arrivals to the Philippines.-VNA