tandards are often called ‘a passport to trade’ and this is borne out by work BSI is doing with China on projects driven by leading edge technology.

“We have long recognised that if you want

to grow trade with a country, working to the same standards will make that a lot easier,” said Head of International Engagement, Peter Sissons. “With this in mind and in response to stakeholder input we have developed a strategically important collaboration with China, that aims to increase bilateral trade between the UK and China.” In 2015 the relationship moved on a stage with the establishment of the UK China Standardization Cooperation Commission (SCC), a joint forum bringing together UK and China experts to work in areas important to both countries. To date three joint working groups have been established, focusing on smart cities, civil nuclear power and graphene. The SCC reports to the UK China Joint

Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO), the primary government-to-government dialogue between the UK and China, focused on our wider trade and investment relationship.

Co-operation in the area of civil nuclear

power was prompted by China’s investment in civil nuclear infrastructure in the UK. “The regulatory and standards landscape in China and the UK in the civil nuclear industry is very different,” Peter explained. “Better understanding of the landscape, and developing common standards, will support UK companies to enter the civil nuclear supply chain in China, and Chinese

Peter Sissons

Delegates at a meeting of the China-UK Standardization Cooperation Commission, a joint forum bringing together experts to work in areas important to both countries

“The use of common standards can facilitate market entry making it easier to do business in China”

companies to enter the UK supply chain. “As a supplier you don’t have to adapt or customise your product or service to a new market’s expectation where there are common standards in place. The great advantage for UK businesses is the reciprocal opportunities it offers; the use of common standards can facilitate market entry making it easier to do business in China. “Over the past few years our relationship with China has gone from strength to strength. Ultimately the SCC is looking to increase bilateral trade between the UK and China and co-operating on standards is a

strong tool for doing this. The more that China uses international standards, the better the opportunities for UK companies.” BSI is also discussing opportunities to become involved in a project that China regards as its biggest undertaking of this century. It’s called the Belt and Road initiative, or sometimes One Belt, One Road, and seeks to recreate the Old Silk Road – the ancient land route that connected traders across China, Persia and Europe – for the 21st Century.

The Belt and Road initiative aims to promote economic cooperation and

partnership, by building infrastructure and trade through Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Russia. By January 2018, 71 countries had signed up to projects along the route, including India, Pakistan, Poland, Turkey, New Zealand and Russia. China has so far invested £635 billion in these projects. “There are some interesting ways that international standards can play a role to support the delivery and implementation of the Belt and Road and we are exploring these opportunities with our counterparts.” said Peter.

l On page 7 we examine two emerging trading opportunities driven by new technology where the introduction of standards is helping to realise potential benefits.



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