Building business for Britain

13 June 2005

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has launched an aggressive education programme in South East Asia to build business for the British construction industry.

The industry is undergoing radical change with the introduction of harmonised European standards known as Eurocodes; as a result of which, all British construction standards are expected to be withdrawn by 2010. The Eurocodes will be mandatory for all European public works and are set to become the de-facto standard for the private sector both in Europe and worldwide, thereby significantly impacting British industry.

In an effort to ease market access for UK construction businesses in high growth areas like the Far East and gain competitive advantage over international competition, BSI is partnering with the Department of Communities and Local Government, and United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI) to hold seminars promoting the use of these European construction standards. Stimulating the adoption of Eurocodes in non-European markets will benefit British manufacturers and suppliers of construction related products, systems and services.

Mike Low, Director of British Standards said,
“In emerging markets, countries are often implementing standards from a variety of international sources and having difficulty interpreting them. Education and training are vital for the successful implementation of standards and that’s where BSI is taking a lead role. We are delivering informative programmes in advance of other National Standards Bodies to give UK Plc a head start on competitors.”

The seminars conducted as part of the programme so far have been held in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Shanghai, with attendance from key industry and government bodies. As a result of these seminars, Vietnam and Malaysia have advised that their national standards will now be developed based on the Eurocodes in consultation with BSI. The feedback from others has also been encouraging and further opportunities in India and the Middle East are being explored to broaden the programme.

Mr Low added,
“We are providing a channel for UK businesses to reach new markets and a platform on which to build their international relationships.”