GSO signs a technical cooperation program with the KATS to facilitate trade exchange
The Standardization Organization (GSO) held an official meeting with the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) to discuss areas of technical cooperation with a view to contribute to support and facilitate trade exchange.
During the meeting, the two sides signed a technical cooperation program for the period (2023-2024) to enhance coordination and cooperation in the areas of standards, conformity assessment procedures and capacity building.
At the signing ceremony, His Excellency the President of GSO Saud bin Nasser Al-Khusaibi, affirmed in his speech that GSO has distinguished technical cooperation relations with the Korean side since 2010 until now; capitalizing on memoranda of understanding and technical cooperation programs signed with KATS and a number of Korean standardization organizations. These include: Korea Testing Certification Institute (KTC), Korea Conformity Laboratories (KCL), the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS), and the Korea Testing and Research Institute (KTR), which contribute to removing potential technical barriers to trade between GSO member states and the Republic of Korea, thereby enhancing existing partnership between the two sides in the fields of standards, metrology, conformity assessment, quality and training.
His Excellency also indicated that the volume of foreign trade between the States of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and the Republic of Korea has undergone steady growth over the past two decades. Oil and gas constituted the most important Korean imports from the GCC States. On the other hand, consumer goods such as cars, electronic devices, machinery and construction equipment, as well as building materials based on iron and steel, constituted the most important imports of the GCC countries from the Republic of Korea.
His Excellency Saud Al-Khusaibi stated that the current period is witnessing great interest in developing strategic relations between the two sides through high-level official visits, joint committees, and rounds of free trade negotiations between the GCC countries and the Republic of Korea, including trade in goods and services, country of origin, digital trade, and intellectual property rights, in order to increase trade exchange for the GCC countries, and to grant a preferential trade relationship with the Republic of Korea, which will contribute to diversifying the economy, opening wider horizons for trade in goods and services, and encouraging mutual investment.
His Excellency added: “In line with all these efforts, harmonization of standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures remain the pivotal pillar to facilitate and increase trade exchange and ensure the safety of products, services, processes and quality of life. All that will pinpoint important strategic priorities to raise the level of technical cooperation between the two sides to achieve these common aspirations, goals and interests in the wake of global changes in all their forms and manifestations.
In conclusion of his speech before His Excellency Chung Wook Chen, Administrator of KATS, and a number of officials and specialists, His Excellency the President of GSO stressed the keenness of GSO to boost cooperation with KATS, achieve common interests, and increase coordination in the fields of standardization and supporting the quality infrastructure between the two sides, through joint work to activate the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two sides, and the technical cooperation program with the aim of developing the standardization system, digital transformation programs, as well as the conformity assessment system, technical regulations in various fields, market surveillance programs, Proficiency Testing Program, training and information exchange, which will truly reflect the common interest of both sides for cooperation to accomplish these objectives.
On the other hand, GSO, in cooperation with KATS, organized a number of workshops for representatives of Korean industrial companies, which included an introduction to the Gulf standardization system, conformity assessment procedures, and notification procedures, as well as an explanation of GSO initiatives to encourage the participation of stakeholders in the development of Gulf standards, technical regulations, and to enhance cooperation and consultations with economic operators.
The workshops also dealt with defining the role of GSO in the field of issuing halal standards, and the efforts of GSO to develop a unified system for halal in cooperation and coordination with the relevant authorities in the member states, and at the regional and international levels. The workshops also discussed a number of topics related to technical barriers to trade, and ways to solve them, in order to enhance trade exchange between the two sides. GSO delegation also listened to an explanation of the Korean standardization system, and got acquainted with the Korean experience of standardization in education, and the Korean electronic system for notifications and related information.
It is worthwhile mentioning that the KATS operates under the umbrella of the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), and the agency represents all Korean ministries in the field of standardization as a national standardization body in the Republic of Korea, and plays a major role in international and regional standardization organizations such as ISO, IEC, PASC, and specializes in standards, product safety, and improving the quality of life.