“We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the South Korean government for granting duty-free market access to several Philippine farm products.

“These include banana, canned pineapples, okra, papaya, glass eels, refined coconut oil, cashew nuts, fruit juices.

“The recently concluded Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South Korea augurs goes well for Filipino farmers, particularly those planting banana, because this will give them duty-free market access over a five-year period from the current 30% tariff that will be gradually reduced by six percentage points every year, starting in 2022, down to zero on the fifth year or 2026.

“The Philippine farm products mentioned above are in addition to several others that are already being exported to South Korea at zero-duty, under the (desiccated coconut and crude oil), and carrageenan.

“Ensuring trade opening to the South Korean market for Philippine agriculture exports is a clear demonstration of the strong economic partnership between the two countries.

“We will continue to nurture this partnership, as we recognize that South Korea has been and will be a reliable partner in our aim to develop and modernize our agriculture and fishery sector, and boost the Philippine economy, amid the global pandemic.”