Connaughton Leads U.S. Delegation of Maritime Officials

Friday, August 08, 2008

On July 28-29, Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton led a delegation of maritime officials in consultative meetings with representatives of to discuss issues of mutual interest and challenges facing the maritime industry, both around the world and in the bilateral trades.

During the two days of meetings, conducted at , delegations from the and exchanged views that reflected many of the major concerns of both countries on a range of significant maritime policy issues.  The face-to-face meetings allowed the two delegations to jointly identify matters for further future cooperation between their two nations.

In addition to identifying parallel challenges in financing port and maritime system infrastructure development with partnerships between public agencies and private sector companies, the delegations also recognized the growing worldwide shortage of qualified mariners and discussed educational and recruitment systems for seagoing personnel. 

Significant progress was made in keeping some qualified mariners at their duty stations, as the delegations agreed to recommend extending the validity of and Vietnamese work visas for crewmembers on a reciprocal basis—thus allowing longer uninterrupted sea duty.

Some other notable areas identified by the delegations for future cooperation include vessel tracking through on-board identification systems; assistance on multi-modal and logistics planning; sharing maritime educational experience and training materials for port and vessel security personnel; and the exchange of cadets and teaching staff at maritime training schools.

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