Indonesia hosts the 59th ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ), emphasizing the role of standardization and conformity assessment in driving ASEAN’s growth and competitiveness while supporting sustainable development goals.

Indonesia, as the current ASEAN Chair, recently hosted the 59th ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ) through the National Standardisation Agency (BSN). The four-day meeting, held from 13 to 16 June 2023 in Yogyakarta, brought together sectoral bodies in the field of Standardisation and Conformity Assessment (SCA) within ASEAN. The event was inaugurated by the Head of BSN, Kukuh S. Achmad, who emphasized the importance of SCA to support ASEAN as the epicenter of growth. ACCSQ highlighted several initiatives that have been agreed upon in the region, including product acceptance agreements in various sectors. However, follow-up actions are still needed, such as the action plan for the Joint Sectoral Committee for Electronic and Electrical Equipment (JSC EEE), which will study regional trade in the EEE sector.

In the face of global economic challenges, ASEAN Member States must be prepared for potential recessions caused by escalating geopolitical tensions and trade conflicts. Kukuh emphasized that ASEAN’s role in these issues would be difficult if member countries do not prioritize mutually beneficial trade systems. BSN has been entrusted with developing the Roadmap of ASEAN Harmonised Standards to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one of Indonesia’s goals during its ASEAN Chairmanship this year. Harmonised standards play a crucial role in ensuring product quality and competitiveness, especially for developing countries. Mutual acceptance of laboratory test results against these standards will contribute to the production of more competitive products and support equitable prosperity in ASEAN.

At the national level, Indonesian National Standards (SNI) are believed to enhance the competitiveness of Indonesian products globally, leading to improvements in the national economy. Moreover, this year’s ACCSQ meeting marked a significant milestone as Timor-Leste attended for the first time as an Observer, following its acceptance as the 11th member of ASEAN in principle. This participation demonstrates the growing development of SCA within ASEAN, which contributes to enhancing market access, facilitating product diversification, and increasing investment opportunities.

The progress of ACCSQ achievements will be continuously monitored through a monitoring and evaluation mechanism aligned with the ACCSQ Strategic Plan 2016-2025. This ensures that technical and policy issues can be reported vertically to higher levels, such as the Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM) and ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting (AEM), as well as horizontally to relevant sectoral bodies within ASEAN.

As part of the series of activities, BSN also organized a National Seminar titled “The Role of SCA in Supporting ASEAN as the Epicenter of Growth” on 12 June 2023. The seminar aimed to disseminate the commitment of standardization and conformity assessment within ASEAN and raise awareness about their implementation.

With Indonesia’s ASEAN Chairmanship this year, the ACCSQ meeting and related events underscore the importance of standardization and conformity assessment in driving economic growth, promoting trade, and supporting sustainable development within the ASEAN region.

Sourced from ASEAN 2023