Banana growers pin hopes on Digong’s Korea trip

DAVAO CITY (PNA) – The Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) has expressed hope that President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to South Korea would result in reduced tariff for the export of Cavendish bananas.

PBGEA members were elated when they were invited to join the team of the President, through Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, PBGEA executive director, Stephen Antig, said during a press conference at the Apo View Hotel here Friday.

The association was given five slots to join the Philippines-South Korea Business Forum and Witnessing of the Exchange of Business Agreement, to be held on June 5 on the sidelines of Duterte’s visit to South Korea.

“We are happy that the present administration has taken steps to look into the series of concerns that we have elevated to the government,” Antig said.

PBGEA’s participation in the business forum is an indication that the government is giving importance to the banana sector, he said.

However, Antig pointed out that the tariff issue is not easy to settle because the Philippines falls under the Asean-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA) for both plantation products and fresh and dried bananas, which have been classified under Korea’s Highly Sensitive Group E.