Sixth Annual Meeting of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure
The sixth annual meeting of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure took place on 17 and 18 January 2019 in Berlin. Germany and India founded the working group in 2013 to strengthen their economic and technical cooperation, reduce technical barriers to trade and increase product safety. To this end, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Indian Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (MoCAF&PD) in collaboration with other ministries are working closely together on topics such as standardisation, accreditation and conformity assessment, metrology, product safety and market surveillance.
The annual meeting was held to present the results of the previous year and to agree on cooperation topics for 2019. The cooperation between Germany and India covers the breadth of their economic relations and ranges from a dialogue on standardisation, to the reduction of technical market access barriers in the automotive industry and medical devices, to the strengthening of machine safety and market surveillance. The joint work plan for the current year was signed on the second day by Stefan Schnorr, Director-General at the BMWi, and Avinash K. Srivastava, State Secretary at the Indian Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
State Secretary Dr Ulrich Nussbaum pointed to the rapid technological developments which posed new challenges - especially in the digital world. Quality infrastructure could turn these challenges into opportunities, and India was a key partner for Germany in this respect. The decision to expand the Indo-German cooperation on topics such as IT security, data protection, electromobility, and Industrie 4.0 was therefore much welcomed. For the bilateral economic cooperation an ongoing technical exchange between experts from industry and government, as it takes place within the framework of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure, was of crucial importance.
Secretary Mr Avinash K. Srivastava of the Indian Ministry of Consumer Affairs highlighted that Germany was India's most important trade partner in Europe. The bilateral dialogue helped to exchange experiences and further business opportunities for both sides. The Working Group provided a continuous and result-oriented exchange between both countries to further strengthen the relationship. Germany's expertise in technology and manufacturing made Germany an ideal strategic partner for India.
This year's annual meeting was attended by an Indian delegation from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, the Ministry of Heavy Industries, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as well as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). More than 60 German and Indian representatives participated from the private sector (e.g. German Engineering Federation, VDMA, and the German Association of the Automotive Industry, VDA), the German Institute for Standardization (DIN), the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (DKE), the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS) as well as subordinate bodies (PTB, BAM). The dialogue takes place within the framework of the Global Project Quality Infrastructure, within which the BMWi cooperates with countries such as Brazil, China, India, and Mexico. The GIZ – the German Agency for International Cooperation – supports the implementation of the project on behalf of the BMWi.