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New markets for SMEs with easy access to information on standards in China

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Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) lack resources and face a language barrier when trying to obtain information on standards in China. This will be made easier with an upgraded Standardisation Information Platform decided today with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Brussels.

With the help of the platform, enterprises interested in accessing the Chinese and European markets can easily find all the information they need on European and Chinese standards, whether already adopted or under elaboration. The information - to a large extent in English and Chinese - is free of charge. Currently the platform exists as a pilot project. The aim of the MoU signed today is to shape, develop and define the platform activities as well as the role of the co-operating partners. The extended services should become available in two months. The signatories were the European Commission (Directorate General Enterprise), EFTA, the European Standardisation Organisations CEN/CENELEC/ETSI and the Standardisation Administration of China (SAC). Today’s agreement follows the launch of the platform on 16 October 2009 in Brussels and on 4 November 2009 in Beijing.

The platform provides information on four areas/sectors: environmental protection, electrical equipment, machinery and medical devices. However, these can be extended if necessary. The European part of this platform will be managed by the European standardisation bodies CEN, CENELEC and ETSI, and the Chinese part by the SAC. The platform (pilot version) can be accessed under (http://www.eu-china-standards.eu or http://www.eu-china-standards.cn).

The signing of the MoU is an important achievement for standardization and cements the future collaboration between the CEN, CENELEC, ETSI and their Chinese counterpart, SAC. The MoU provides a stronger foundation to facilitate trade for European industries, and promote mutual understanding. The support of the European Commission and EFTA gives a strong sign towards standardization, putting it high on the political agenda, and contributing to prepare the ground for a good relationship between European and Chinese standardisation authorities.

The representatives who signed the MoU today were: from the Chinese side: Mr. Ji Zhengkun, Administrator of SAC and from the European side: the representative of the European Commission, Mrs Françoise Le Bail (Deputy Director General from the Directorate General Enterprise and Industry, European Commission); the Deputy Secretary General of EFTA, Ms. Bergdis Ellertdottir; CEN President, Mr. Juan Carlos López Agüi, CENELEC President, Mr. David Dossett, and ETSI General Assembly Chairman, Mr. John Phillips.

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