According to a statement by Trade Secretary Secretary Ramon Lopez on Tuesday the Philippines will push for lower tariffs on agriculture products in forthcoming trade negotiations with South Korea.
Lopez said he made this request to Korean Minister of Trade, Industry, and Energy Joo Hyungh-wan, who made a quick trip to the Philippines this week.
He also said the Korean official expressed interest to advance the discussions on Asean-Korea FTA as well as a bilateral agreement with the Philippines.
“We’re pushing for lower tariff, mostly for agriculture products like bananas and pineapple, and other key agricultural products,” Lopez said.
Currently, the DTI noted that Seoul slaps a 30-percent tariff on pineapples and bananas being shipped to South Korea.
“We are requesting for that (zero tariff) so we can finalize the Asean-Korea FTA as well as our own bilateral or FTA with them,” Lopez said.
Philippine exports to South Korea increased 18 percent from $2.88 billion in 2012 to $3.4 billion in 2013, while Philippine imports increased rose 6.5 percent from $4.53 billion in 2012 to $4.82 billion in 2013, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.