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A long-distance relationship with Cambodia

December 1, 2020

As the crow flies, 5,234km is the distance between Australia and Cambodia. It may seem a long way, but it’s about 1000km less than the distance between Sydney and Perth.

As one of our close neighbours, we are delighted to have entered into an IEC Mentoring Arrangement with the Institute of Standards of Cambodia (ISC), along with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
Standards Australia and ISC have worked together for many years. As two key national standards bodies in the Asia-Pacific region we meet regularly on a range of shared interests including digital trade, capacity building, block chain, and e-commerce.

While international travel is curtailed for now, we have been able to stay in touch with ISC virtually and have found this a great opportunity for both teams to exchange on international and regional priorities, compare notes regarding the pandemic, and how virtual standards development has brought unexpected benefits for participation. We are able to share our experiences and give insights into best practices, through lessons learned during the current health crisis. We have made progress on issues of mutual interest such as, ISC’s contribution in setting up the new ASEAN Working Group on digital trade standards for the region.

A walk down memory lane with my colleague, Pamela Tarif, Standards Australia Senior International Engagement Manager, had us reminiscing about Pamela’s good fortune to visit Cambodia in September 2019. Pamela attended the ASEAN – Australia Digital Trade Standardisation Initiative, a project implemented by Standards Australia. This was an excellent opportunity for Standards Australia and ISC to work together co-hosting an event under this Initiative.

Cambodia’s key focus under the IEC Mentoring Arrangement is the development of their National Electrotechnology committee to improve their participation in IEC standardisation – our aim is to help them achieve this!

Mr. Pen Tonat, Secretary of the National Electrotechnical Committee of Cambodia, has thanked Standards Australia for taking part and commented on the benefit of the program. “The IEC Mentoring Program will help Cambodia to gain competency and practical experience in IEC standards development and conformity assessment activities. I hope my country will continue to become stronger in relevant competencies.”

Australia is a global leader in international standards development and Standards Australia’s International Engagement Team supports strong representation in this work from the Asia-Pacific region, with the IEC Mentoring Arrangement contributing to this outcome. We ensure Australia is a strong participant and advocate for the multilateral standardisation system and has strong relations with National Standards Bodies (NSBs), and with regional and international standards organisations.

Through these connections, we can assist other NSBs in the Indo-Pacific region to have strong and reliable national systems that contribute to developing and adopting internationally aligned standards. This helps our region to trade with greater confidence, while strengthening our regional economy and security.

We are looking forward to contributing to the ISC’s bigger picture and watching the relationship between Australia and Cambodia continue to grow from strength to strength.

- Clare Hobern, International Stakeholder Engagement Manager

Author
Communications Department
communications@standards.org.au

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