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PIA Press Release

RP-ROK robust bilateral ties cited

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (20 February) -- "The Republic of Korea has been a dependable partner of the Philippines, and has strongly helped her administration achieve the set targets of the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan, according to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

According to the Malacanang press report President Arroyo made the remark during Welcome Reception for the Philippines-Republic of Korea Business Forum.

"The partnership between our two countries is hearty and robust, especially in terms of economic and people-to-people interaction. Our number one tourists to the Philippines are the Koreans, and with students and retirees, as mentioned earlier, there are twice the number of Koreans in the Philippines as Filipinos in Korea," President Arroyo said stressing that the two countries can look forward to a brighter future given their vigorous partnership and a meaningful interaction."

To substantiate her confidence in the robust bilateral ties of the two countries, she declared 2009 as the official "Philippines-Republic of Korea Friendship Year" and March 3, 2009 as RP-Korea "Friendship Day".

The President also noted that over 900 Korean companies are currently operating in the Philippines. Among them are Hanjin Heavy Industries, Korea Electric Power corporation (KEPCO), Samsung, LG and Eastern Group.

"We must help our two countries navigate the current world economic crisis. We must help our two countries navigate the current world economic crisis. We must combine the wisdom of our shared past and enthusiasm for our common future to create a firm and strategic bond of cooperation," the President said as she urged Korean and Filipino business leaders to forge strong and stragetegic bond of cooperation for the prosperous future of the Philippines and South Korea.

"So this year is a fresh start for our two countries as we celebrate our yesteryears with an eager participation of a stronger, brighter tomorrow. Notwithstanding the global economic crisis, I am optimistic that the future is bright -- bright for the Philippines, bright for Korea, bright for a more vigorous partnership and a meaningful interaction between our two countries and our two peoples," President Arroyo said. (PIA 6) [top]

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