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ANSI Sends Representatives to Strengthen Standardization Efforts in the Asia Pacific Region


New York, Mar 29, 2006

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) sent representatives to a recent meeting of the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC) Standing Committee (SC) in Hanoi, Vietnam. PASC serves as a forum to strengthen international standardization programs for the Asia Pacific region. The committee gathered in conjunction with meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), its Subcommittee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC), and the APEC Trade Facilitation Task Force. APEC SCSC recognizes PASC as one of five Specialist Regional Bodies (SRB), and looks to PASC for support of standards initiatives that will meet the needs of APEC economy governments.

In cooperation with the four other SRBs (the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation, the Asia Pacific Metrology Programme, the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation, and the Asia Pacific Legal Metrology Forum), PASC set into motion a process to coordinate APEC requests for trade liberalization funding and to develop proposals for capacity building and technical infrastructure improvements in the region. The proposals, which are expected to be submitted to the SCSC by July 2006, will be based on input from PASC and the ANSI Regional Standing Committee – Asia Pacific.

While in Vietnam, ANSI staff met with foreign officers from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DoC) Commercial Service as part of an ongoing initiative to strengthen communication ties with the DoC’s network of global offices, and to exchange information concerning standards and conformity assessment initiatives in the region. Led by Gary Kushnier, ANSI vice president of international policy, ANSI provided an update of its international activities and priorities, as well as an overview of the U.S. standardization system. ANSI and the U.S. Commercial Service foreign officers initiated talks to resolve standards-related issues in the region, including compliance with local customs requirements and inspections.

As a follow up to the visit with the Commercial Service, representatives from ANSI and the DoC’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) met earlier this month with a Vietnamese delegation to discuss an update to Vietnam’s standardization law. The update is being undertaken in preparation for Vietnam’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Vietnamese delegation included representatives from the Directorate for Standards and Quality—the Vietnamese national standards body and official member to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO); the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology; the National Assembly of Vietnam; the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice; and the Office of the Government—Committee for Law Drafting. In addition to a discussion of provisions for the new draft Vietnamese standardization law, presentations included an overview of the roles of the public and private sectors in the U.S. standards and conformity assessment systems, and the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA).

The Pacific Area Standards Congress will hold its 29th meeting May 2-5, 2006, in Cape Town, South Africa. For more information, contact Steven Bipes, ANSI director, regional and bilateral policy (sbipes@ansi.org; 202.331.3607).

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