The trade relationship between the United States and India is one of the world's most vibrant and growing bilateral partnerships. To underscore the key link between standards, conformance, and trade, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia traveled to New Delhi last week for a series of activities carried out under the Institute's U.S.-India Standards and Conformance Cooperation Program (SCCP).
In cooperation with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), ANSI participated in the first Indo-U.S. Summit on Standards in Trade, and also convened workshops on the topics of safe storage of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and aerospace.
"Time and again, we have seen that those who understand how to effectively influence and address standardization and compliance issues have the greatest success in the international marketplace," explained Mr. Bhatia. "Strategic events like these help both Indian and U.S. stakeholders by sharing information, building effective partnerships, and facilitating the transfer of technologies between our two nations."
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, bilateral trade in merchandise goods has increased almost 400% in the last 15 years.
In 2008 alone, U.S. exports to India totaled 32.4 billion dollars, an 85% increase from 2007, and Indian exports to the U.S. totaled nearly 40 billion dollars, a 65% increase from 2007.
For more information, visit www.buyusa.gov/india.
The summit, which was held at the Shangri La Hotel in New Delhi on February 16, 2010, focused on the impact of standards and conformance on bilateral trade. With over 90 participants, the event was widely attended by representatives from U.S. and Indian government agencies, companies, and members of the ANSI Federation. Speakers included Mr. Bhatia; Rajiv Agarwal, secretary of the Indian Ministry of Consumer Affairs; Sharad Gupta, director general of BIS; Sarita Nagpal, Ph.D., deputy director general of CII; and Blair Hall, minister-counselor for economics, environment, science, and technology at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.
In order to reinforce the commitment of ANSI and CII to increased cooperation and dialogue, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Mr. Bhatia on behalf of ANSI, and Dr. Nagpal on behalf of CII. ANSI has previously signed a tripartite MoU with CII and BIS in December 2007 [see related news item], as well as a bilateral MoU with BIS in 2006.
In addition to the Summit, the week's activities included the second SCCP workshop, co-sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and focused on the topic of safe storage of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Cooperation between the U.S. and India in the areas of LNG, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and compressed natural gas (CNG) will be increasingly important as India continues to develop new technology and trade between the two countries grows.
The workshop was held in New Delhi on February 15, 2010, and included presentations by Ted Lemoff, staff liaison at NFPA; Ambrish Mishra, director at the Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD); and C K Veda, head of the mechanical engineering department at BIS. Representatives from Petronet LNG, the Shipping Corporation of India, and the Indian Oil Corporation were also present to share experiences with LNG and related safety concerns. More information on the LNG workshop is available here.
The third SCCP workshop was held on February 18, 2010, to address the topic of aerospace standards in the U.S. and India. The Indian aerospace industry is one of the fastest growing markets in the world, with increasing numbers of aircraft being built and assembled in India. Countless parts and components for these aircraft are manufactured in the U.S. in compliance with internationally accepted standards.
Co-sponsored by SAE International, the workshop provided an introductory opportunity for representatives of the Indian and U.S. aerospace industries to share their experiences and encourage greater participation in aerospace standardization activities. Bruce Mahone, director of Washington operations for SAE, provided an overview of the U.S. landscape, while representatives from CII and other Indian organizations shared industry perspectives of the Indian landscape. More information is available here.
A number of additional SCCP workshops are planned for the coming year, covering topics such as biometrics, agricultural equipment, and solar technologies.
To learn more about the SCCP or to participate, visit www.StandardsPortal.org/us-indiasccp. Questions can be directed to Leslie McDermott, ANSI program administrator for international development (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.331.3626).