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Regional-International Standards Collaboration Announced to Bolster Asia Pacific Region

New York, Sep 21, 2006

The Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have signed an historic agreement to strengthen collaboration between regional and international standardization activities in the Asia Pacific. The arrangement, which aims to buttress capacity building efforts in the region, was undertaken in large part to strengthen international standardization programs in the region.

A recent regional economic outlook report released by the International Monetary Fund forecasts continued growth for the Asia and Pacific region at an estimated rate of 7% for 2006.

“The region’s economic growth in recent years has garnered strong momentum,” said Gary Kushnier, vice president of international policy of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and chair of the PASC Standing Committee. “Several emerging economies have requested technical assistance and greater access to standards, and will benefit from greater involvement in international standards setting activities.

The agreement calls for PASC and ISO to work together to:

  • enhance the quality and capacity of standardization in economies of the region;
  • improve the ability of standards bodies in the Pacific Rim to participate effectively in international standardization programs;
  • support free and fair trade within the region and with economies in other regions;
  • foster improvement of economic efficiency and development of the region through the promotion of standardization; and
  • interact with other bodies that represent elements of the standardization technical infrastructure, industry, consumers and government.

“The ISO-PASC agreement will help nations in the Asia-Pacific region build upon the policies and standards infrastructures already in place to compete successfully in the global market.” Kushnier added.

Formalized in conjunction with the ISO General Assembly held earlier this month in Ottawa, Canada, the agreement was signed by Kushnier, ISO secretary general Alan Bryden, and PASC chair Martin Kuscus.

PASC’s decision to form the liaison was formalized at the 29th Annual PASC Congress held last May in Cape Town, South Africa. [See related article: PASC XXIX Focuses on Regional and International Collaboration].

A similar arrangement with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is under consideration.

PASC serves as a forum to strengthen international standardization programs for the Asia Pacific region. While PASC does not develop standards, the Congress works to align and reinforce standards policy in the region; increase regional participation in international standardization; and to improve capacity building and development efforts within the region.

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