RoK Minister of Strategy and Finance Kim Dong-yeon (L) holds a meeting with Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez in Seoul on June 4, 2018 (Source: Yonhap)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The Republic of Korea (RoK) and the Philippines have agreed to further expand economic cooperation and work together for an early conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

In a meeting on June 4 with Philippine Secretary of Finance Carlos Dominguez, RoK Minister of Strategy and Finance Kim Dong-yeon highly evaluated the Southeast Asian country's massive infrastructure development projects, affirming that Seoul will actively support such projects through extended financial help.

The two ministers shared the view that bilateral trade should be further extended, and agreed to work together to accelerate the process of signing the RCEP, a proposed major trade deal between 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the six countries with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements, namely China, Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand and the RoK.

The meeting took place in the context that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is paying a three-day visit to the RoK to boost defence-security and economic ties between the two nations. He is the first head of state from an ASEAN member country to visit the RoK since President Moon Jae-in took office in May 2017.

President Duterte is scheduled to hold talks with his RoK counterpart Moon Jae-in later on the day to discuss measures to elevate bilateral relations to a new height.

He also plans to meet with leaders of major RoK businesses to encourage them to become reliable partners, thereby contributing to the Philippines’ economic growth.

Two-way trade between the Philippines and the RoK reached 14.29 billion in 2017, up 36.1 percent from the previous year.

Some 1.6 million tourists from the RoK visited the Philippines last year, while 450,000 Philippine holidaymakers toured the East Asian nation. Around 68,000 Philippine people are living, working and studying in the RoK.-VNA