Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure strengthens trade through cooperation on safe and secure products

New Delhi: The seventh annual meeting of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure took place on 16th and 17th January 2020 in New Delhi with around 80 participants. Germany and India established the Working Group in 2013 to strengthen their economic and technical cooperation, reduce technical barriers to trade, and increase product safety. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs & Energy (BMWi) and the Indian Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in collaboration with other Ministries are working closely together on standardisation, accreditation and conformity assessment, metrology, product safety and market surveillance.

Director General Stefan Schnorr of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy: “Quality infrastructure is the language of international trade. With a growing relevance of technical regulations – such as mandatory standards – our exchange on regulatory approaches and compliance procedures eases doing business and boosts trade. I welcome the signing of our Work Plan 2020. We have agreed to intensify the cooperation on standards, technical regulation, certification, and market surveillance in key economic areas such as machinery safety, automotive, electric mobility and cybersecurity. A mutual understanding of requirements for safe and secure products helps to protect the citizens in both countries. Our Indo-German discussion paper on the cybersecurity of Internet of Things (IoT) devices which we just launched is a good example for our successful cooperation.”

Secretary, Consumer Affairs, ShriAvinash K. Srivastava said that “Germany is a trusted and important partner for India. It is encouraging to see the intense technical cooperation that happens in our bilateral Working Group. I am happy to see that we have deepened our cooperation in areas such as cybersecurity, market surveillance, Industry 4.0, and legal metrology. This year we will also put a focus on strengthening the dialogue on technical regulation, exchange on regulations of medical devices, and exploring twinning arrangements at ISO and IEC level.”

This year’s annual meeting was attended by a German delegation of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) headed by Director General Stefan Schnorr, representatives from the German Institute for Standardization (DIN), the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (DKE), the National Metrology Institute of Germany (PTB), and representatives from German companies and industry associations such as VDMA and VDA. The Indian delegation included representatives from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as well as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The dialogues on Quality Infrastructure take place within the framework of the Global Project Quality Infrastructure (GPQI), within which BMWi engages in political and technical dialogues with strategic trading partners. GIZ – the German Agency for International Cooperation – supports the implementation of the project on behalf of BMWi.