Hanoi (VNA) - The leaders of the Republic of Korea (RoK) and the Philippines agreed on November 25 to make joint efforts to reach a deal in their free trade negotiations within next year.

The RoK's Presidential Office said President Moon Jae-in and his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte made the pledge during their meeting held on the sidelines of a special summit between the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the RoK in the southern port city of Busan.

At the meeting, the two sides agreed on the need to open their commodities market at an early date and vowed to work together for substantive progress in the ongoing FTA negotiations, so that they can strike a deal sometime in 2020. The two sides began their FTA talks in June.

They also discussed ways to boost bilateral relations in trade, investment, defence cooperation, infrastructure, energy and people-to-people exchanges.

On the occasion, the two leaders signed separate deals on increasing pension benefits for workers in each other's countries, and bolstering tourism cooperation.

This year also marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the RoK and the Philippines./.