AS the Philippines and Norway celebrate their 75th bilateral relations in 2023, Ambassador of Norway to the Philippines Christian Halaas Lyster said they have come to strengthen the relationship of both countries.
“We have very strong ties in different sectors. I think one of the most important sectors is basically the promotion of business and trade between our two countries,” Lyster said in an interview with SunStar Davao on May 30, 2023, during his visit to the DMMA College of Southern Philippines (DCSP).
Lyster said aside from the maritime sector, the bilateral relationship between Norway and the Philippines will also focus on renewable energy.
“We’re trying to move forward with offshore wind and floating solar. All types of renewable energy like hydro, these are the areas that we have a lot of confidence in and are also very much linked to maritime space,” he added.
Lyster said that with the strong relationship between both countries, Filipinos will benefit and be given opportunities.
“This creates opportunities for young Filipinos to enter into the maritime sector– as cadets, junior officers, or later on maybe a future captain of Norwegian vessels,” he added.
Lyster added that as the fifth-largest shipping nation in the world, he wanted to see more Filipino seafarers on board.
He said that although he was happy that the European Maritime Safety Agency (Emsa) had extended the recognition of the certificate of Filipinos in the European vessels, it was also a challenge to keep implementing the requirements according to the standard of the agency.
Emsa is an agency that provides technical expertise and operational assistance to improve maritime safety, pollution preparedness and response, and maritime security in European flag vessels.
Recently, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) have faced a threat of discontinuing the recognition of the Filipino seafarers onboard the European-based flagships due to the discrepancies found during the Emsa’s audit in the maritime schools in the country. KSD