NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31 – Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to boost standardisation activities between the two countries.
This comes as part of the three-day visit by South Korean President, Park Geun-hye who is accompanied by 150 government officials and over 100 investors.
“Strengthening cooperation and collaboration between Kenya and Korea is critical, not only for fair competition in our respective domestic markets but also for an opportunity to create a presence in continental and international markets,” KEBS Managing Director Charles Ongwae said during the signing ceremony.
The three-year agreement will see both countries benefit from exchanging technical personnel and also participation in conferences, symposia, workshops, exhibitions and other relevant meetings organized by either party.
Additionally both countries have also agreed to provide guidance to harmonization of specific standards with international standards for promotion of technical and scientific co-operation to eliminate Technical Barriers to trade.
Finally Kenya and Korea will jointly attend training programs on product standards and management system standards such as ISO 90001, 14001, 22001, 27000 etc. to enhance competence in standardization and testing.
“In this day and age of increasing cross-border data flows, it is important that the standardisation firms across the globe increase their cooperation as well. The signing of this MOU between the Korea and Kenya is a great step in this and marks the good relationship between our countries,” KATS administrator Jeh, Daeshik said.
The signed treaty will promote economic cooperation and support the cordial relationship between Kenya and Korea hence, benefiting both countries by using standards that are fully coherent and compatible with organizational codes of practice and other regulatory requirements.
According to statistics, imports from Korea to Kenya are valued at Sh18.6 billion while Kenya exported Sh1.7 billion.
Ongwae said the partnership will assist Kenyan manufacturers to produce goods that meet the global and also the Korean standards.
Kenya mainly exports to South Korea tobacco, flowers, tea, coffee, scrap metal, gemstones, pyrethrum, spices, fish, wood products, handicrafts, beer, while importing iron & steel products, plastics, electrical machinery/apparatus, ICT equipment, chemicals, rubber products, pharmaceuticals, motor vehicle from Korea.