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Apr 25, 2011

Introduction Of SAARC Common Standards Stressed

Introduction of 'SAARC Common Standards' will strengthen further the regional economy by removing existing technical barriers to expand trade and commerce, speakers told a seminar in Dhaka on April 25, 2011. Bangladesh will also get additional benefit if identical standards system is introduced for South Asian nations, they said.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Industries Ministry jointly organized the seminar on 'Experiences of Developing South African and African Quality and Conformity Assessment Infrastructure: Lessons for Bangladesh' was held at the conference room of the ministry. Industries Minister Dilip Barua attended the function as the chief guest. International expert and UNIDO technical advisor Dr. Franz Hengstberger presented the key note paper in the seminar with Industries Secretary KH Masud Siddiqui in the chair.

Among others, Additional Secretary of the Ministry ABM Khorshed Alam, UNIDO Chief Technical Advisor David Holbourne and Director General of BSTI AK Fazlul Ahad took part in the discussion. The speakers said that law-enforcing services relating to implementation of legal metrology and conducting mobile courts should be given to an independent organization keeping technical services like testing the standard of commodities, examination, preservation and development under BSTI that will help to protect the consumer rights.

Introduction of SAARC common standards in this region in light with South African experiences will strengthen socio economic development of this region through industrialization by removing all existing barriers to expand trade and commerce, they observed. The speakers also said the African system may also be useful for Bangladesh to initiate the required changes in this regime to earn ultimately the international recognition in testing, certification, inspection and conformity assessment to facilitate trade and industrialization.

The Industries Minister said a modern transparent, efficient and dependable management is needed for ensuring sustainable industrialization in Bangladesh. He said Bangladesh is lagging behind in modern standards management despite having remarkable growth achieved in industrial sector due to prudent policy of the Mohajote government. Dilip Barua stressed time befitting reform of existing laws and regulations to get international recognition for Bangladesh products. In this respect, he urged all concerned to forget about small individual and institutional interest giving priority to greater national interest.

The Industries minister said the present government is working hard for making BSTI as a modern standard institution to ensure supply of standard products both at local and international markets side by side with ensuring the rights of consumers. Setting up of modern testing centers for BSTI has already been completed while necessary manpower increased to strengthen its institutional efficiency, he said. Experts from home and abroad including the EU, NORAD, FAO, BSTI, Bangladesh Accreditation Board and leaders of different leading chambers also took part in the discussion.

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