TWENTY-THREE South Korean companies have expressed interest to invest almost $5 billion in new projects that could create 50,000 jobs in the Philippines.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the Philippines is expected to secure at least 23 business-to-business deals with South Korea during President Rodrigo Duterte's meeting with the business community in Seoul, Korea on Tuesday afternoon, June 5.
The business agreements that would be signed were on top of the five government-to-government deals signed on Monday, June 4, Lopez said.
"There will be a signing of business agreements. This would be the 23 business-to-business agreements, with an estimated total value of $4.8 billion, generating new jobs of 50,000," the Trade Secretary said in an interview in Seoul.
Duterte is set to attend a forum hosted by Korean business community, which will be attended by around 400 business delegates from the Philippines and South Korea.
Lopez noted that one of the South Korean firms sought to expand its kimchi production in the Philippines by engaging local farmers from Benguet in its operations.
He added that the other company planning to invest in the Philippines wanted to increase engineering and construction cooperation in the Duterte government to support its "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure program.
"They intend to expand operation amounting to $200 million, which is expected to generate more or less 2,000 jobs," Lopez said.
Another business pledge with a contract value of around $900 million is for the construction of a 600-megawatt power plant in Masinloc, Zambales, Lopez said.
Lopez also took note of a South Korean company's intent to expand the development of a power generation project in Quezon.
He added that Hyngai group, a South Korean multinational automotive manufacturer, was also "seriously" mulling building a facility in the Philippines for the production of passenger and commercial vehicles.
"As you know, Hyundai is present in the Philippines but heavily on the distribution side, dealership. But they are now considering seriously doing a production facility, specifically both on passenger vehicles, as well as commercial vehicles," Lopez said. (SunStar Philippines)