Korean president arrives Wednesday for 3-day visit
() - December 10, 2005 - 12:00am
South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun will arrive on Wednesday for a three-day state visit to strengthen economic and political ties between his country and the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday.

The DFA said Roh is returning President Arroyo’s state visit to Seoul in June 2003.

The two leaders will meet for the second time this month.

Several agreements on social security, construction and infrastructure and mineral resources are expected to be signed during Roh’s state visit from Dec. 14 to 16.

Roh was also invited to speak before the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).

South Korea ranks as the ninth largest trading partner of the Philippines.

It is also a major source of foreign direct investments in the country, which accounted for 36.5 percent of the total foreign direct investments this year.

South Korea has invested heavily in the Philippines’ electric power plants and contributed to the electrification of the countryside. South Korean investments in the Philippines accounted for 36.5 percent of total foreign direct investments this year.

Tourism is also a promising area of Philippine-South Korean relations due to a fast-growing trend in people-to-people contacts. South Korean tourists accounted for 16.5 percent of total tourist arrivals to the Philippines last year.

Their arrivals are expected to reach the half million mark by yearend.

As a major provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA), particularly funds earmarked for priority development projects and programs in Mrs. Arroyo’s 10-point agenda, the President and Roh will witness the launching of the Northrail-Southrail Linkage Project and inauguration of the Information Technology Training Center in Quezon City, projects which the South Korean government helped finance.

The DFA said the Northrail-Southrail Linkage Project will develop a fast, safe, comfortable and reliable commuter rail service to the south of Manila by modernizing the PNR commuter train services from Caloocan to Alabang.

The project involves the strengthening of the tracks and bridges, double tracking, installation of signals and communication systems and procurement of 21 diesel railcars.

The Philippine-Korea Information Technology Center in Quezon City will advance the training capacities and capabilities of the Philippines’ Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in providing information technology training for Filipinos. — Pia Lee-Brago

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY TRAINING CENTER MRS. ARROYO NORTHRAIL-SOUTHRAIL LINKAGE PROJECT OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE PHILIPPINE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY QUEZON CITY ROH SOUTH SOUTH KOREA SOUTH KOREAN
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