The Philippines has called for mutual co-operation with China in the ship manning sector amid increasing competition between the two countries.
Despite the perception that China is a competitor, says Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas, "there is much that can be learned from each other."
Addressing a meeting between delegates and guests of Chinese Seamen's Union (CSU) and Associated Marine Officers' and Seamen's Union of the Philippines in Manila last Tuesday, Sto. Tomas said: "It is a case of learning how not to kill each other" in the crewing market. She added that the countries could share expertise.
Zhang Shu Hui, leader of the CSU delegation, said there is a surplus of ratings in China and a lack of officers. He believes that a unifying wage scale in Asia could contribute to mutual co-operation.
China is one of the developing countries with potential abundant in manning resources.
At present the country has more than 400,000 seafarers, and a great number of its cadets is about to work on board ships each year.
Nearly 150,000 of those seafarers work on oceangoing vessels that are controlled by Chinese shipping companies, including those working on board foreign flag or FOC vessels.