Germany and India Partner on new initiatives in Standardisation, Certification and Market Surveillance
The 5th annual meeting of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure, led by the Indian Ministry for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy was held on January 15 and 16, 2018 in New Delhi. The Working Group has met annually since 2013, and identifies technical challenges to trade, and seeks solutions to increase business opportunities between India and Germany in an increasingly digitised business environment.
Secretary Consumer Affairs Mr. Avinash K. Srivastava said Germany is as a very important partner, and that the bilateral dialogue deepens mutual understanding and trust, and enables to work on issues that are relevant for the Indian and German industry as well as consumers. The Working Group is well aligned with the priorities of the Indian Government. It works on highly relevant topics, and brings together experts from both countries, who for instance develop ideas on how to improve technologies, strengthen the market surveillance system in India and protect consumers better, Mr. Srivastava highlighted.
Mr. Stefan Schnorr, Director General for Digital and Innovation Policy at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, who headed the German delegation, emphasised that cooperation in the Working Group is a sign of Germany’s and India’s strong economic relations, and shows the willingness to learn from each other. The closer the partnership becomes, the more relevant it would be to find solutions that ease doing business. Business and consumers would benefit from the bilateral cooperation. Mr Schnorr added that the German delegation is delighted to see that the Indian partners appreciate the well-established German model, where the industry is in the driver’s seat steering towards a more digitalised world, and developing and harmonising standards accordingly.
For the first time, government officials from other line ministries including DoC, MeitY, MoRTH, and DHI joined over 50 German and Indian stakeholders from the private sector, including industry associations (FICCI, CII, VDMA, VDA), standardisation and accreditation bodies, among them the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and German standardisation institutes (DIN, DKE), as well as the Indo German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC). The participants agreed on cooperation areas where bilateral trade and business can be facilitated by aligning to international standards, and easing conformity assessment procedures, for instance through mutual recognition of test results. The new work plan includes collaboration in machinery safety, automotive industry, electro mobility charging infrastructure, Industry 4.0 (IoT), and data protection. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) supports the Working Group in India on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as part of the Global Project Quality Infrastructure. Because of its access to partners as well as its grown experience in implementing cooperation projects in India and in managing multistakeholder partnerships in politically sensitive contexts, GIZ enjoys great trust from BMWi and German enterprises.