German-Chinese Standardization Cooperation Commission meets
The German-Chinese Standardization Cooperation Commission met in Leipzig on 25 and 26 May 2016. The meeting was jointly led by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Chinese standardization body, SAC. Government representatives from both countries, as well as from the standards organizations DIN, DKE and SAC met with industry experts from the automotive sector (BMW, Daimler, VW), other sectors (Siemens, the HARTING Group), and technical associations such as ZVEI and VDMA. Chinese participants included representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the Chinese embassy.
Because the People's Republic of China is by far Germany's most important trade partner in Asia, a German-Chinese dialogue is especially important. The German-Chinese Standardization Cooperation Commission was formed in 2011 out of the previous "Working Group Standardization" of the German-Chinese Joint Committee of Industry and Trade founded in 1979. Its primary aim is to continue to facilitate the bilateral exchange of goods by removing technical barriers to trade, to promote economic and technical cooperation, to cooperate more closely in standards work, and to coordinate international standardization activities. The annual meeting of the Commission is an excellent opportunity for intensifying cooperation between Germany and China as regards standardization strategies.
In Leipzig the focus was on areas such as biotechnology, civil aviation, machinery (particularly foundry machinery), medical devices, energy efficiency, and the planned reform of Chinese laws governing standardization, and the role of Standardization 2030. The reform represents a move away from mandatory state standards. The new Chinese standardization law includes several elements which have proven to be practical in other industrial nations, including an emphasis on the use of voluntary standards.
Other topics covered this year included surgical instruments, ambient assisted living (AAL), and the planned smart cities event which will take place in Chengdu, China.
Just prior to this meeting, two sub-working groups – one on Industry 4.0 and one on electromobility - held workshops on 24 and 25 May 2016. Roughly 50 German and Chinese experts took part in the electromobility workshop, where topics such as battery technologies, interoperability, and inductive charging were discussed. The results, including further work to be done, were presented and adopted at the Commission meeting.
The sub-working group on Industry 4.0 held an intensive workshop in which work was begun on documents on eight subjects, including intensifying cooperation in international standardization, IT standards work, functional safety and "predictive maintenance". The intention is to complete these documents by November 2016.
The participants all agreed that regular exchanges of information on these topics will be necessary. The next meeting of the German-Chinese Standardization Cooperation Commission will take place in China in 2017.