|Viet Nam has become more connected with the world economy by joining the global accreditation and evaluation structure system more deeply, deputy minister of Science and Technology Nghiem Vu Khai was speaking at the opening of the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Co-operative(APLAC) yesterday.— VNA/VNS Photo
DA NANG (VNS)— Viet Nam has become more connected with the world economy by joining the global accreditation and evaluation structure system more deeply, deputy minister of Science and Technology Nghiem Vu Khai has stated.
Hai was speaking at the opening of the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Co-operative(APLAC) yesterday.
Founded in 1992, APLAC acts as a steering agency for accreditation bodies – entities which test and certify export products for quality - and harmonises accreditation practices in the Asia–Pacific region.
A licence granted to a product when it meets the quality standard in an APLAC member country will also be valid in other member nations, saving time and money for exporters.
The Bureau of Accreditation of Viet Nam, established in 1995, now manages nearly 700 laboratories, inspection centres and certification bodies across the country. It became a member of APLAC in 1997.
This year's co-operative general assembly is taking place for the second time in Viet Nam and has drawn 135 members from 35 participating countries and territories
"The meeting is a good chance for Viet Nam to promote trade investment by improving its accreditation system. The country has developed its own way of doing things since the 1990s but now we face new challenges as world development continues," Khai said.
Quality control systems are becoming increasingly important in Viet Nam, with many lucrative export deals reliant on products reaching tough international quality standards.
"This event will help member countries exchange experiences in management and setting up accreditation systems. APLAC will help ease the procedures and time frames for officially recognising goods and commodities from each member country," Khai pledged.
"Viet Nam has been an important member of the APLAC for years. This current busy general assembly shows that the Asia Pacific region is interested in the development of Viet Nam," chairman of the APLAC, Nigel Jou, told Viet Nam News.
"Viet Nam and other ASEAN economies including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, have already established their own accreditation systems, and become Multual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) Signatories to APLAC," he said.
He added that Viet Nam is boosting its economy, and the country would gradually meet the challenges facing the environment and food safety, helping its export products align with international expectations.
"BOA takes a critical position in the development of Viet Nam because it is a matured accreditation body and provides accreditation service to the conformity assessment bodies that have a key influence on the elimination of technical barriers to trade," he explained.
These obstacles to trade exist because of the high number of technical regulations. While they ensure better quality, they complicate financial deals.
Director of BOA Vu Xuan Thuy said Viet Nam has developed 700 bodies working in accreditation, proficiency testing and evaluation.
Thuy stressed that the meetings keep one eye on the potential establishment of a ‘world with one criterion and one certificate'.
"If a Mutual Recognition Arrangement is reached, Viet Nam's goods will be globally accessible with world-wide capable accreditation and certificate bodies," Thuy said.
"It means that the findings of any Vietnamese laboratory, inspection centre or accreditation body must be recognised by all APLAC member countries," Thuy added.
Nigel Jou said BOA will need to develop a full range of further accreditation services to accommodate market needs.
"We'll do all we can to support Viet Nam build a fit-for-purpose accreditation system because Viet Nam is a member of ASEAN and plays an important role in the development of the region," he said.
The general assembly will last until Saturday. — VNS