November 22, 2011
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan called on the government to explore agricultural trade agreements with South Korea, considering that the Philippines has been declared free of Foot and Mouth Disease.
“The recent recognition and declaration of the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) that the entire Philippines is FMD-free without vaccination is a fact that we should be proud of. We should explore boosting exports to South Korea, whose economic thrust is geared towards the industrial sector. We can fill their agricultural needs.”
South Korean President Lee Yung-Bak is currently in the country for a three-day visit. South Korea imports nearly $20 billion of their agricultural needs. The United States is its chief exporter, supplying meat and other major agricultural items.
“It would be cost-effective for our South Korean neighbors to import their meat from within East Asia rather than from across the globe. Given the fact that our meats are certified FMD-free should be a big selling point for us. Our livestock and meat agricultural subsector has been enjoying steady growth over the past few years. Should we be given access to the South Korean market, there will be tremendous cascading effect on our economy from the increased incomes of our farmers.”