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In April, ASTM International signed a memorandum of understanding with INEN, Ecuador’s national standards body. As part of the signing ceremony, INEN sponsored a seminar on global trade in Quito, with representatives from ASTM International, the American Concrete Institute, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the National Fire Protection Association giving presentations on their standards to an audience of about 125 people from Ecuadoran industry, government and academia. Present were (from left): Ing. Jose Chacon, American Concrete Institute; Manuel Gutierrez, American Society of Mechanical Engineers; Kitty Kono, ASTM; Jim Thomas, ASTM; Ing. Felipe Urresta, director general, Instituto Ecuatoriano de Normalizacion (INEN); Ing. Cesar Duran, subsecretary, Ministerio de Comercio, Ecuador; Miguel Chiriboga, subsecretary of industrialization, Ecuador; and Arq. Jaime Sotomayor, National Fire Protection Association.

Maureen Mutasa (second from left), director general of the Standards Association of Zimbabwe, met with ASTM staff (from left) Scott Murphy, director, Educational Services; Teresa Cendrowska, director, External Relations; and Tim Brooke, director, Technical Committee Operations. Mutasa came to ASTM during her visit to the United States under the sponsorship of the Eisenhower Fellowships. One of her goals during
her fellowship was to meet with counterparts at U.S. standards organizations and federal agencies to share organizational experiences and discuss relevant issues, examine new approaches to standards development, and learn more about voluntary product and systems certification schemes in the United States.

ASTM International recently exhibited at the 10th Taipei International Book Exhibition in Taiwan. The annual event attracted 1,017 publishers from over 47 countries. Representing ASTM International was Rex Wang, Tao’s Publisher and Book Company, Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan.

APEC Policy Dialogue

In May, ASTM President Jim Thomas presented a speech describing the U.S. standards system at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative’s Policy Dialogue in Merida, Mexico. The purpose of the Policy Dialogue, the subject of which was “Fostering a Sound National Voluntary Standardization System,” was for APEC members to have the opportunity to share experiences in how they structure their national voluntary standardization system, what difficulties they face in engaging industries, consumers and regulators, and how they address those difficulties.

Thomas was invited to speak by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to represent the U.S. as one of five economies asked to speak at the event. In his presentation, Thomas described the sector-specific, unregulated, and open U.S. standards development system as offering “a mosaic of solutions” for industry and other economic sectors.

Memorandum of Understanding

Chile’s National Institute of Standards (INN) has signed an MOU with ASTM International. INN is the ninth national standards body to sign an MOU with ASTM. The purpose of these agreements is to strengthen the relationship between ASTM and signatories in developing countries and allow ASTM to assist that country’s national standards body in their standards development and adoption efforts.

COPANT

Congratulations to Carlos E. Rodriguez Lopez, executive director of Instituto de Normas Tecnicas de Costa Rica, that country’s national standards body, who has been elected president of the Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT). Rodriguez will begin his term as president at the conclusion of the 2003 COPANT meeting. //

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