Post liberalization, with reducing tariff in foreign trade, the new focus of the main trading partners in the World has shifted to standards and technical regulations. With a number of mega-regionals in formation, standards and sanitary and phytosanitary measures have made the flow of goods smooth and easy. They have become tools to restrict sub-standards goods to enter domestic market and protect consumers. With the proper compliance and conformity assessment of standards, trade can increase to a substantial level, both in value and volume terms. In India, the awareness and adoption of proper standards and technical regulation is not up to the mark of the same followed in other export led economies. Traditionally, Indian trade does not have a standards driven culture and both industry and government have not given due priority to it. During the Uruguay round of WTO, the role of standards has gained tremendous importance and India has to comply with international obligation to meet certain standards in order to gain access to certain markets. As the mega-regionals have mandated the adoption of technical regulation, directly or indirectly, to do business with any major trading partner today, requirement to fulfill conformity assessment is a must. The situation is so emergent that the prospect of trade may shut in the absence of a proper standards regime.
Against this backdrop, the Standards Conclave 2015 under the theme “Role of Standards in International Trade: Challenges, Opportunities and Issues” was organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India on 21-21 May, 2015 at New Delhi. A number of notable policy makers, industry leaders and academicians came out with their valuable assessments of the existing ecosystem and suggestions towards a future roadmap. This report released at the Standards Conclave 2015 is a compilation of their contributed resource papers.