India, Korea to ink pact for seafarers, boost bilateral ties: Nitin Gadkari

India and South Korea will sign a pact to provide Indian seafarers employment onboard over 500 korean ships and are set to boost bilateral ties in ports and shipping space said India’s Union Minister Nitin Gadkari  

 The Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Gadkari, who was on a four-day visit to Korea said both the nations were thinking on partnerships in shipbuilding, waterways and smart transportation, among others. 

 "Both the nations will sign an undertaking for mutual recognition of certificate of competency of seafarers. It will be beneficial to both the countries as Korea is a large ship owning nation, while India is a large seafaring nation with over 1.5 lakh seafarers. 

 "The agreement will facilitate Indian seafarers to work on Korean ships as there is requirement of seafarers. Korean entities as of now own more than 500 foreign going ships," Gadkari told PTI. 

 Gadkari was hopeful that the signing of the undertaking will pave the way for recognition of maritime education and training plus there would be various certificates for seafarers issued by the governments of both the countries, besides creating job opportunities for Indian seafarers.

"We are also looking to have partnership in the field of ship building, smart transportation system, water conservation & recycling, eco-friendly energy system for marine industries and technology to develop our rivers to drive economic growth," the minister said. 

Gadkari's visits main intention was to strengthen the ties between the two nations and cooperation in areas, including sharing of technology, experience in port development and operation and joint participation in port-related construction, building and engineering projects of mutual interest etc. Bilateral cooperation between India and Korea in shipping, ports, inland waterways, highways, river interlinking and infrastructure sectors were the main agendas of the meet.

Known for its maritime technology, Korea had partnered with the Ministry of Shipping in the Maritime India Summit held in Mumbai during April 2016. 

The Union Minister also addressed a business forum on the maritime sector and also a seminar on India-Korea Infrastructure Corporation Forum and visited the Samsung Heavy industries, Busan Port, National Transport Information Centre in Seoul, besides. An interaction with financial institutions and investors was also scheduled.

India and Korea have an institutional framework for cooperation through the memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation and mutual assistance to facilitate development of ports, port-related industries and maritime relationship. 

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