The first Norway Maritime Conference took place in Cebu January 28 and 29 with around 200 industry leaders from Norway, the Philippines and various parts of Asia gathering to share knowledge and develop solutions for increasingly complex maritime challenges.
With the theme ‘Waves of Changes. Setting the Course Together’ the conference gathered government leaders, regulators, ship owners, manning agencies, maritime training professionals, educational institutions, and other interest groups. The purpose of the event was to devise strategies that ensure the further growth of the industry while addressing its current issues.
The conference was divided into three main sections: Maritime Trends and Expectations; Green Growth in a Blue Market; and the Key to Success through Competence. Over 20 speakers specifically discussed the areas of maritime human resources, competence development and performance, environment, innovation, safety at sea, and corruption and bribery in port.
“The maritime sector has for many years been the cornerstone of Norwegian-Philippine bilateral cooperation—and it still is,” says Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Erik Førner. “Norwegian ship owners made a wise and forward-looking decision a generation ago when they started recruiting seafarers from the Philippines,” adds Førner.
Today, there are more than 25, 000 Filipino seafarers onboard Norwegian owned or controlled vessels, which benefit both nations. Thousands of Filipino seafarers receive decent work and training while Norwegian companies employ a world-class workforce for their ships around the world.
“I took the initiative to organize the Norway Maritime Conference more than a year ago. This was simply a reflection of how important the maritime sector is to both countries,” adds Ambassador Førner.
The Royal Norwegian Embassy —Manila, Norwegian Maritime Foundation of the Philippines and the Philippine Norway Business Council are the organizers of the conference.