MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Dutere is set to travel to South Korea for an official visit next month wherein Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol will be part of the President’s delegation.
Secretary Piñol said he is looking forward to inking an agreement with his South Korean counterpart to reduce the current 30-percent levy on Philippine-exported bananas.
The Philippines ranks second among the world’s top banana producers and it accounts for nearly 90 percent of South Korea’s banana imports.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the Philippines needs to enhance the promotion and supply of bananas as well as other agricultural products like pineapple, coconut, and tuna.
“This is more strategic to really focus on our market leaders, when I say market leaders, not only in the promotion side but promotion internally on how we can increase supply in a product where we are already leading,” said Undersecretary Nora Terrado of DTI’s trade and investments promotions group.
Meanwhile, another agreement on preferential trade is likely to be signed between the Philippines and South Korea during the presidential visit.
“It will cover ang mga items na traded between Korea and the Philippines kasi ang feeling ni Secretary Dominguez, unfair iyong set up right now. The fruits from Korea, for example apples, are only slapped with 5 percent tariff samantalang iyong ating saging 30 percent,” concluded Secretary Piñol.
(It will cover items traded between Korea and the Philippines because Secretary Dominguez feels that the current set up is unfair. The fruits from Korea, for example apples, are only slapped with 5 percent tariff while our bananas are being charged 30 percent.) – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue
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