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P-Noy upbeat on Korean capital

Aurea Calica - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino is hoping for the Philippines to get a share of the $50-billion that South Korea’s National Pension Service is ready to invest every year, apart from the $1.7 billion in investments that he brought back from his two-day state visit in South Korea.

In a speech after his trip, the President said 20 percent of the $50 billion could be invested abroad and the Philippines is now being considered as an investment site by South Korea because of the good performance of the local economy.

The largest investment from his trip came from the Lotte Group of Companies, which committed to build a 350-room hotel in the Philippines plus real estate and food manufacturing business that has a total cost of $1 billion. The projects will be completed in five years.

The second largest investment came from Korea Electric Power Corp. (Kepco). It promised to put up power plants at a total cost of $700 million that would produce 850 megawatts in Bataan, Surigao del Sur, Cadiz City (Negros Occidental), and Negros Occidental.

Shipbuilding company Hanjin also wants to expand its operations in the country.

The President reiterated that while he is focused on current concerns, his administration must also find investments for the future.

He added that he felt the sincerity and support of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye during their meetings.

He said Park voiced support for the process that the Philippines has been pursuing to maintain peace and stability in the region amid maritime disputes. They also discussed issues on defense, disaster response, trade and sports.

Park also committed South Korea’s assistance to Zamboanga City, which was devastated by a recent armed conflict, and to the Visayas region affected by a strong earthquake this week.

Aquino called on Filipinos to continue working together to achieve prosperity, and reminded them that the heroism of Filipinos was never lost in the hearts of Koreans after the Philippines sent more than 7,000 soldiers during the Korean War in the 1950s even if it was itself just recovering from the devastation caused by World War II.

The President said that at the Korean War Memorial that he visited while he was in Seoul, he saw words etched on the wall that read: “Our nation honors the sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.”

“The Koreans that we met showed their debt of gratitude to the Filipinos. It is friendship not just in words but also in deeds,” Aquino said in Filipino.

AQUINO

CADIZ CITY

KOREA ELECTRIC POWER CORP

KOREAN WAR

KOREAN WAR MEMORIAL

LOTTE GROUP OF COMPANIES

NATIONAL PENSION SERVICE

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL

PRESIDENT AQUINO

SOUTH KOREA

SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT PARK GEUN-HYE

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