VICE President Jejomar Binay urged South Korean businessmen to invest in the country’s housing sector, assuring that the government is determined to create a favorable playing field for all.

Binay, who is winding up his three-day visit to South Korea, his first international trip since becoming vice president, made the appeal when he met Thursday with Daou and Kiwoom Group and Saekyung Group, who are both engaged in construction, engineering and rental of low-cost apartments.

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In his talks with the foreign businessmen, the Vice President reiterated the Aquino administration’s optimism that there will be increased investments in manufacturing and tourism, as well as in key sectors such as renewable and alternative energy.

“I have always believed that the only way for any economy to work is for government to provide a healthy environment for business. I am confident the Philippines is capable and ready to offer such environment,” Binay said.

Koreans have consistently ranked as one of the country’s top investors. They pledged P23.8 billion or 52.1 percent of the total approved Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in the first quarter of 2010.

During his stay in Korea, Binay held a dialogue with the Overseas Filipino community. He also awarded 11 Filipino community members for giving donations to victims of Typhoon Ondoy and six Filipinos who helped rescue a Korean minor from an attempted raped.

Binay also paid courtesy visits to ranking South Korean government officials led by Prime Minister Chung Un-Chan. During the meetings, he echoed the Aquino government’s invitation for Korean businessmen to invest more in the Philippines.

The Vice President also graced the 27th Asia Pacific Jamboree and 3rd International Patrol Jamboree as guest of honor. The event was participated in by 40 countries from the Africa, Arab, Eurasia and Asia Pacific regions.

Binay is the national president of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and the chairman of the Asia-Pacific Regional Scout Committee. (AH/Sunnex)