On August 29, 2016, Leslie McDermott, director of international development for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), participated in a standards and conformity assessment roundtable as part of the second annual U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. The roundtable was organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and took place in New Delhi from August 29 to 31.
Building on ANSI's relationship with CII and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Ms. McDermott provided a summary of the U.S. model for accrediting standards development organizations. ANSI members, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) also presented during the roundtable to provide a U.S. perspective and experience developing an integrated framework between standards and conformance.
This year's roundtable provided an opportunity for U.S. and Indian organizations to exchange ideas, and BIS explained amendments to the BIS Act and their relation to standards development and conformity assessment. The BIS Act, 2016 replaces the 30-year old BIS Act, 1986 and expands the scope of BIS to include goods, articles, services, and systems. The expansion of BIS's scope also gives the organization more power to enforce standards, quality, and performance of goods and services in India and allows BIS to certify third party conformity assessment bodies.
India is among the fastest growing economies in the world with an average annual GDP growth of more than seven percent over the past ten years. U.S. goods exports to India totaled $21.5 billion in 2015, making India the 18th largest U.S. export market.
The U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue was born out of six years of cooperation through the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue. Beginning in 2009, the Strategic Dialogue was the primary forum advancing shared objectives in regional security, economic cooperation, defense, trade, and climate challenges. In January 2015, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi elevated the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue to the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. This expansion reflects the United States and India's shared priorities regarding economic growth, job creation, improvement of the investment climate, and strengthening of the middle class in both countries. The Joint Statement on the Second Strategic and Commercial Dialogue notes progress made in the area of standards cooperation.
ANSI and BIS are respectively the U.S. and Indian national member bodies for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) via their respective national committees. CII provides support to national enterprises to bolster their productivity and the quality of Indian goods and services.
For more information on the Standards Portal, including access to the U.S., Brazilian, Chinese, Indian, and Korean portals, please visit www.standardsportal.org.