Indo-US ties to go beyond trade standards, conformance

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New Delhi, Feb.16 (ANI): With trade ties between India and USA set to further expand, the role of standards and conformance assessment in facilitating global trade was re-emphasised by Rajiv Agarwal, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs.

Delivering a keynote address at the first Indo-US Summit on Standards in Trade which concluded in the Capital today, Agarwal said that Third Party Certification was a welcome step in trade facilitation.

Lauding the MoU signed by CII and ANSI today, he said that the Standards Conformance and Cooperation Programme (SCCP) between India and US would go a long way in opening India's dialogue on Standards with the world.

Sharad Gupta, Director General, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in his remarks observed that while tariff barriers in international trade were on the bane, it had been replaced with Non-Tariff barriers. These needed to be demystified and the Trade Portal jointly commissioned by BIS, ANSI and CII would provide a platform for continuous dialogue and help in influencing the thinking of trading partners.

Blair Hall, Minister Counselor for Economics, Environment, Science and Technology Affairs, Embassy of the United States of America in his Special Address underlined the expected growth in Indo-US trade as envisioned by the US President and the need to adopt a Public Private Partnership in the formulation of bi-lateral trade standards.

To further intensify the co-operation under the Standards and Conformance Cooperation Programme, a MoU between CII and ANSI was signed Dr Sarita Nagpal, Deputy Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry and Mr S Joe Bhatia, President and CEO, American National Standards Institute (ANSI). BIS, ANSI and CII already have a tripartite agreement on mutual co-operation in the area of Standards and Conformity Assessment.

Emphasizing the role of Non-tariff barriers as a deterrent to enhanced global trade , Dr Biswajit Dhar, Member, CII WTO Committee and Director General, Research and Information Systems(RIS) related how NTB had risen from a mere 389 in 1995 to 1895 in 2009!

In his Special Address, Dr Girdhar J Gyani, Secretary General, Quality Council of India (QCI) called upon Industry to step up in creating voluntary standards.

S Joe Bhatia, President and CEO, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) explained how the SCC Programme, which now had US Congressional support, would serve as a forum to exchange information and best practices.

Elise Owen, Representative for China and India Affairs, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in her address drew attention to the emerging new standards on environment and CSR which would be areas which would affect trade and commerce. (ANI)

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