India and Germany are eager to draw benefits from exchange of information and expertise on issues of mutual interests

India and Germany have signed a work plan for cooperation to strengthen quality infrastructure, reduce technical barriers to trade, enhance product safety and strengthen consumer protection.

This development took place during the 8th Annual Meeting of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure on Wednesday. Held virtually, the annual meeting also discussed and signed a work plan for the year 2022.

Both sides, as the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, also laid their focus on collaboration in mobility, energy, circular economy, smart farming, medical devices, digitalization (AI, Industry 4.0 and other new technology areas), machinery safety, medical devices and equipment and market surveillance, the statement informed.

The Working Group meets annually since 2013, and identifies areas of cooperation to support and strengthen quality infrastructure in the country taking into account needs and requirements of relevant stakeholders from diverse technology areas so as to support bilateral trade, it added.

Noting that Germany is an important and trusted partner of India, Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs underscored the importance of a well-established and robust quality infrastructure which consists standardization, technical regulations and market surveillances for the success of the Government of India initiative to transform India into a global manufacturing hub.

He expressed hope that the work plan 2022 signed virtually during the meeting would pave the way forward for collaboration towards well-functioning and resilient systems of quality infrastructures.

The Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs urged involvement of all the relevant stakeholders such as different ministries, standardization bodies and Industry to learn from each other’s approaches on different aspects of quality infrastructure.

Deniela Bronstrup, Director General, Digital and Innovation Policy at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), the co-chair from the German delegation, welcomed the Indian delegates to the virtual meeting and noted that despite of challenging period both sides continued cooperation under the framework of the Working Group.

This is a great sign of strong relations between Germany and India and that both sides can draw benefits from exchange of information and expertise on issues of mutual interest to support bilateral trade. \

The German side shared their initiatives at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and requested support for the German candidate for the position of Director Standards at ITU, the official statement noted.

A publication on ‘United in Quality and Safety’ was released providing information about the quality infrastructure in Germany and the European Union and expressed that publication will be of great help to policymakers and trade partners in India to understand Quality Infrastructure regime in Europe and in Germany, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs said.

Outcome of the Global Quality Infrastructure Index (GQII) study conducted by the German side was also shared, the Ministry added.

As per the GQII report, India is placed at 7th position on standardization aspect, 9th for Accreditation activities and 19th for the Metrology related activities, the statement further said.

India scored 95.6 out of 100 and is ranked at 10th place in the world for overall quality infrastructure environment in the country, it added.

This was followed by a panel discussion on ‘digitalization and sustainability: key factors for an effective and modern Quality Infrastructure’ and a session on ‘Focus areas for cooperation within the Indo-German Working Group in 2022,’ the Ministry informed.

In the panel discussion, the experts discussed the relevance of Quality Infrastructure for digital and green transformation, its effects on the QI and how QI can support the industry especially SMEs, it recalled.

The experts emphasised the need of a common understanding on these issues and benefits that could be drawn from the Indo-German Cooperation, the statement further said.