As U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke led a delegation of U.S. companies on a trade visit to India, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia traveled to New Delhi and other major Indian cities for a series of trade-related activities under the Institute's U.S.-India Standards and Conformance Cooperation Program (SCCP).
One of the fastest growing countries in the world, India has become an important economic ally for the United States. Under the National Export Initiative (NEI), President Barack Obama has set the goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years, an increase that would support two million American jobs. With the sponsorship of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), ANSI's SCCP seeks to facilitate commerce, increase transparency, and help U.S. industry increase marketplace acceptance for its products, services, and personnel.
The release of the U.S. Standards Directory made headlines in several India media outlets:
Directory of US Standards Released to Boost Indo-US Trade
Times of India
American Body Unveils Directory to Help Exporters
As a key element of the SCCP, ANSI launched the U.S. Standards Directory in New Delhi at a February 8 summit held in cooperation with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The directory serves as a clearinghouse of standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment information used in the U.S. to drive five key industry sectors. The meeting built upon the events of the first U.S.-Indo Summit held in February 2010, which opened formal dialogue on the impact of standards and conformance on bilateral trade. [see related news item]
"It is a critical time for our two nations to assess and take advantage of the opportunities and capabilities that the standardization community has to offer," explained Mr. Bhatia. "The directory is a powerful tool for companies looking to increase bilateral trade, and will undoubtedly serve as a great resource for market expansion."
The directory is intended to help industry and policy-makers increase transparency and reduce duplication in standards and regulatory requirements. The sectors currently included in the directory cover information technology, telecommunications, petroleum, water purification, and construction equipment. These sectors were selected using recommendations from ANSI staff, as well as input from USTDA and CII. The directory may be expanded to include other sectors in the future.
The summit focused on the importance of industry participation in standards development as a key means of facilitating trade. With more than 80 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; Leocadia Zak, director of the USTDA; Sharad Gupta, director general of BIS; Dr. S K Saxena, director of the Indian Export Inspection Council; and Sarita Nagpal, Ph.D., deputy director general of CII.
In addition to the summit, ANSI held a series of outreach sessions with companies in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, and Ahmedabad to promote the directory and gather industry perspectives.
For more information on the directory, please visit www.StandardsPortal.org/directory. Questions can be directed to Leslie McDermott, ANSI program manager for international development (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.331.3626).
A photo slideshow from the summit is available here.