As many as fifty ASEAN electrical safety regulators and private sector representatives came together in Cambodia this week in an effort to boost safety standards for electrical and electronic equipment manufacturing in ASEAN. The workshop for electrical and electronic equipment that focused on the safety management process that will improve and bring greater consistency of standards to appliance manufacturing across the region was conducted with support from the U.S. Government.

The ASEAN region is an important player in global electronics. Currently the world’s fifth largest producer, ASEAN serves as a significant global manufacturing hub for electronic and electrical goods with a share of about 10 percent of world production. Likewise, electrical and electronic products accounted for 13.6 % of ASEAN total exports valued at US$ 145 billion, and 13.8% of ASEAN total imports valued at US$135 billion in 2010. These numbers are all likely to rise, as ASEAN’s burgeoning middle class demand more high-tech products and as the region’s reputation for quality manufacturing continues to grow.

The workshop was held back-to-back with the annual meeting of the ASEAN Joint Steering Committee on Electrical and Electronic Equipment (JSC-EEE).

“This workshop is part of the United States’ continuing effort to support ASEAN in its community building program,” said Ms. Jennifer Wilson of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Regional Development Mission for Asia, in her welcoming remarks at the workshop.

Participants learned about the basic relationship between hazards, in particular the exposure and harm to persons, property and the environment – and were presented with models and tools to help analyse risk and safeguard against hazards and harm. JSC-EEE Co – Chair, Mr. Steven Tan, noted, “Improving safety of electrical products has been a priority of ASEAN Member States. Incorporating standards and risk assessment techniques will enhance the safety of products and complement the end goal of compliance with international standards.” The technical knowledge imparted by the workshop will benefit manufacturers, product designers, and representatives from conformity assessment bodies and national standards bodies who are directly involved in the design, manufacture and testing of electrical and electronic equipment.

The Applied Safety Science and Engineering Techniques workshop was organized by the U.S. Government-funded ASEAN-U.S. Technical Assistance, and Training Facility, in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat and Underwriters Laboratories.