Kenya, South Korea sign MOU to boost standardization
Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to boost standardization activities between the two countries.
This comes as part of the three-day visit by South Korean President Park Geun-hye where she will be accompanied by 150 government officials and over 100 investors.
“Strengthening cooperation and collaboration between Kenya and Korea is critical, not only for fair competition in our respective domestic markets but also for an opportunity to create a presence in continental and international markets,”said KEBS Managing Director Mr. Charles Ongwae during the signing ceremony,
The three year agreement will see both countries benefit from exchanging technical personnel and also participation in conferences, symposia, workshops, exhibitions and other relevant meetings organized by either party.
Additionally, both countries have also agreed to provide guidance to harmonization of specific standards with international standards for promotion of technical and scientific co-operation to eliminate Technical Barriers to trade.
Finally Kenya and Korea will jointly attend training programs on product standards and management system standards such as ISO 90001, 14001, 22001, 27000 etc. to enhance competence in standardization and testing.
“In this day and age of increasing cross-border data flows, it is important that the standardization firms across the globe increase their cooperation as well. The signing of this MOU between the Korea and Kenya is a great step in this and marks the good relationship between our countries,” said KATS administrator Mr. Jeh Daeshik said.
The signed treaty will promote economic cooperation and support the cordial relationship between Kenya and Korea hence, benefiting both countries by using standards that are fully coherent and compatible with organizational codes of practice and other regulatory requirements.
“We are convinced that the collaboration between KEBS and KATS will make a positive and important contribution to the successful development and integration of standards for the international market,” added Ongwae.
According to statistics, imports from Korea to Kenya were valued at Ksh 18.6 billion while Kenya exported Ksh 1.7 billion.
Ongwae said the partnership will assist Kenyan manufacturers to produce goods that meet the global and also the Korean standards.
Kenya mainly exports to South Korea tobacco, flowers, tea, coffee, scrap metal, gemstones, pyrethrum, spices, fish, wood products, handicrafts, beer, while importing iron & steel products, plastics, electrical machinery/apparatus, ICT equipment, chemicals, rubber products, pharmaceuticals, motor vehicle from Korea.
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