By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, SEOUL

06 May 2024, Seoul - Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sat down with Maekyung Media Group Chairman Chang Dae-hwan on 2 May 2024 to discuss the 75th anniversary of Philippines - Republic of Korea relations and the vibrant economic prospects between the two countries through the ratification of the Philippines - Republic Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This is the first in-person interview of the President with a Korean news media group.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Korea's Maekyung Media Group Chairman and President Chang Dae-Hwan discuss PH-ROK economic prospects at the Malacanang Palace, in Manila, Philippines.
The President discussed the importance of the PH-ROK FTA at length, which is expected to have enormous economic effects in many of our strategic industries including automobiles and automotive parts and agricultural products. He looked forward to the support of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea for the speedy ratification of the FTA. He likewise looked forward to continued Philippines-Republic of Korea cooperation in transformative infrastructure projects such as the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridge Project, the Panguil Bay Bridge Project, and the modernization of the Manila International Airport with the help of Korean companies.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos conveyed his high hopes for cooperation in promising strategic areas such as energy, digitalization, critical raw minerals processing, green technology, and people-to-people exchanges. The President shared the government's parallel efforts to strengthen the ease of doing business and other incentives for Korean companies interested in investing in the Philippines. As of 2022, the volume of trade between the two countries stood at $17.5 billion.

Founded in 1966, the Maeil Business Newspaper is an esteemed comprehensive daily business newspaper in South Korea with a circulation of 1.2 million readers. Aside from the Maeil Business newspaper, the Maekyung Media Group also operates a broadcasting network and other publications. The MBN television broadcast, whose prime-time news aired the interview, reaches 15 million viewers every day.

Philippine Ambassador to Korea Theresa Dizon-De Vega met with MBN President and Chairman Chang Dae-Hwan prior to the interview in the Philippines. A key figure in Korean business and news circles, Chairman Chang has fond memories of the Philippines as his father served as ROK Ambassador to the Philippines under the administration of the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. END