In April two representatives of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) visited Austrian Standards to learn first-hand how a small country like Austria can succeed in international standardization far beyond its size. The guests were particularly interested in work processes and the product portfolio.
In early May, a two-day stakeholder seminar followed in Jamaica that covered modern and WTO-compliant work methods in national standardization on the one hand and efficient participation in international standardization on the other hand. BSJ holds the secretariat of ISO/TC 93 "Starch". Therefore, a workshop was dedicated to hands-on training on work methods for ISO secretariat management and appropriate tools. After a gap analysis, further actions were agreed to achieve improvements.
In Zimbabwe, the successful project launched in 2014 was continued. In this context, an expert of Austrian Standards provided training at the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ). Measures were taken together to improve structures and to enhance the efficiency of national and international standardization work. Bilateral co-operation between SAZ and AS is envisaged for the future. A visit of SAZ to Vienna is planned for January 2016. Collaboration could be continued, for example, under an ISO twinning agreement.
The Lebanese Standards Institution (LIBNOR) benefited from various EU-funded projects for the development of the quality infrastructure in the past few years. As a result, European best practices are now well known and under implementation in Lebanon. The task of Austrian Standards was to evaluate needs for further training, if necessary, and to hold a workshop with stakeholders in order to strengthen and increase their participation in standardization.
At the end of the INS (Institutional Strengthening) project, Austrian Standards supported the Nepal Bureau of Standards & Metrology (NBSM) in preparing a road map for further successful development. To this effect, best practices from Austrian standardization work were presented and, on this basis, future training activities were planned.
In a consortium headed by the German GFA Consulting Group, Austrian Standards was awarded a contract for an EU-funded project in Nepal 2014 in order to promote the country's export capability. The project focuses on product safety and the quality infrastructure required for that purpose. Because of the natural disaster that hit Nepal last year, the implementation of the project was delayed. Work can only start in 2016. In March 2016, the first trainings will be held for the WTO TBT Enquiry Point.
Together with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Austrian Standards again supported the development of the Institute for Standardization of Serbia (ISS) in 2015. Special priority was given to sales and marketing. In Belgrade, Austrian Standards presented the experiences Austria made in implementing new product and sales models as well as its Webshop.
The Austrian Standards Institute and the Cyprus Organisation for Standardization (CYS) already signed a memorandum of understanding on co-operation and mutual support a few years ago. In 2015, the two organizations took part in an Erasmus+ project fostering exchanges between standardization organizations in the EU area..
In November, representatives of CYS visited Austrian Standards to learn about best practices in all fields. They were particularly interested in standardization work in general and especially in the electrotechnical and chemical sector. However, the e-services offered by Austrian Standards, such as meinNormenRadar and document management solutions, were also of great interest to our guests.
Austrian Standards and the Tajik Agency of Standardization, Metrology, Certification and Trade Inspection (TAJIKSTANDARD) have co-operated under a memorandum of understanding since 2013. In December, a 7-member delegation from Tajikistan visited Austrian Standards to intensify collaboration.
Above all, the Tajik partner wants to become more active in international standardization. ISO's technical committees in the food sector are of special interest as Tajikistan has enormous export potential for dried fruit, herbs and natural medicinal products. Moreover, tourism and services are important topics for the future of this country.