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We too have a big stake in coming talks

PRESIDENT Duterte returned home Wednesday from his state visit to South Korea, bringing home some $1 billion in new Official Development Assistance (ODA) from that country, provided in an economic cooperation agreement he and President Moon Jae-In signed last Monday.

Also signed were a loan agreement with the Export-Import Bank of Korea for the New Cebu International Container Port project; a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on scientific and technical cooperation with Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport; another MOU on trade and economic cooperation with Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy; and another MOU on agricultural cooperation, involving technology transfer on farm mechanization and irrigation, with Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs.

Aside from the government-to-government agreements, Secretary of Trade and Industry Ramon Lopez said Korean and Filipino businessmen signed 23 business deals which will bring in $4.858 billion in private investments in various projects, which are expected to generate some 50,000 jobs. Among these are a liquid natural gas (LNG) project, a solar power plant in Isabela, a coal-fired power plant in Quezon, dredging operations at Port Irene in Cagayan, electric vehicle manufacture, including developing a prototype of a modern electric jeepney, and freshwater eel production in Occidental Mindoro.

President Duterte met with President Moon Jae-In after the latter’s historic meeting with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un and a week before the coming June 12 meeting between United States President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim.

Thus, aside from welcoming the tremendous economic benefits of his state visit, we are reminded by President Duterte’s meeting with President Moon in Korea that the Philippines too has a big stake in the coming peace talks on June 12 long with other nations in this part of the globe, notably China and Japan.

For it is only if we are assured of peace in the coming years, free of fears of nuclear confrontation, that we will enjoy the benefits of the economic agreements signed during President Duterte’s recent state visit to South Korea.

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