South Korea and the Philippines have agreed to strengthen collaboration by connecting their respective economic policies, “New Southern Policy” and “National Vision 2040.” In addition, the Korean government decided to increase its Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) to the Philippines to US$1 billion.
President Moon Jae-in and Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines made the agreement in a summit meeting held in the Blue House on June 4. President Duterte is the first head of an ASEAN member country to visit Seoul since President Moon’s inauguration.
The two presidents held a small-scale meeting and an expansive summit, discussing issues concerning society, culture, economy, trade, the politics and geopolitics of the Korean Peninsula and international collaboration to improve ties between the two countries.
“We hope our New Southern Policy will contribute in achieving the National Vision 2040 of the Philippines,” President Moon said. He also proposed a collaboration between the two countries in transport, infrastructure, energy, water resources, ICT and smart technology to involve the ASEAN nations in the New Southern Policy. National Vision 2040 is a core project the government of the Philippines is engaged in to become a middle-high income country by 2040.
The two presidents also designated 2019 as the Korea-Philippines Year of Tourism to celebrate the 70th year of their diplomatic relations.
After the summit, ministers of various departments agreed on five MOUs (memorandum of understanding) in transport, economy and trade, alternative energy, science and technology and infrastructure in the presence of the two presidents.