India has inked an agreement with South Korea that will open up the path for Indian mariners seeking jobs on Korean ships.
“The signing of the agreement will benefit both countries,” Nitin Gadkari, the Indian Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, said in a statement on April 10. “Korea is a large ship owning nation. As of now, Korean entities own more than 500 foreign going ships, and need seafarers to work on their fleet. India has around 1,54,349 seafarers. The agreement will open up employment opportunities for Indian seafarers on Korean ships,” he added.
Gadkari and his Korean counterpart Kim Young-choon signed the agreement for mutually recognizing the competency certificates of seafarers at a ceremony in Busan. The two leaders attended a business forum in Korea to enhance bilateral cooperation in areas of port development, marine transport, logistics and energy development.
Gadkari began his four-day visit to Korea on April 9, with a focus on taking forward bilateral cooperation between the two countries in areas like shipping, ports, inland waterways, highways, river interlinking and infrastructure sector.
The Ministry of Shipping posted the latest development on the social media, saying, “This will help Korea with its big shipping fleet and India with its large pool of seafarers.”
“India signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding) with the Republic of Korea on mutual recognition of certificates of competency of seafarers. This paves the way for the two governments to mutually recognize the certificates of maritime education and training, competency, endorsements and medical fitness of seafarers issued by each other,” the statement from Ministry of Shipping said.
Gadkari also visited the Busan Port and attended the India-Korea Maritime Cooperation Forum (IKMCF).
In April last year, India and South Korea signed a pact to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of defense shipbuilding. According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the two nations had to nominate one shipyard each. India chose the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) at Visakhapatnam.
“It will enable HSL to upgrade and modernize its facilities so as to enable it to execute naval projects in a timely manner,” Secretary of Defence Production Ashok Kumar Gupta had said at the time, PTI reported.