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PNAC attains MLA signatory status with PAC/IAF.

ISLAMABAD -- "The Pakistani exporters are facing compliance and quality issues as major challenges in accessing the global markets. The tests performed in Pakistan and certificates issued here in the country have limited acceptance in target markets.

All it requires is to improve conformity assessment infrastructure and services in Pakistan," this was stated by the Federal Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid.

He further said by acquiring the 'MLA' status, the PNAC has enabled the country to save its foreign exchange incurred on account of accreditation from foreign accreditation bodies and this will also increase exports contributing ultimately to improvement the Balance of Payments.

The Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC) has secured a Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) with the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) and International Accreditation Forum (IAF) for Quality Management System - ISO 9000 (QMS) and Environmental Management System - ISO 14000 (EMS) during the course of 20th PAC Plenary Meetings at Honolulu, USA.

Now PNAC is the 13th Accreditation Body of the pacific region to attain MLA signatory status in QMS and 15th Accreditation Body to attain signatory status in EMS. PNAC achieved this status with the support of the European Union (EU) funded Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) Programme.

In recognition of this achievement, Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and TRTA II Programme implemented by UNIDO organized a ceremony on 19 August 2013 in Islamabad.

Zahid Hamid, Federal Minister for Science and Technology and Pierre Mayaudon, Acting Ambassador at the Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan handed-over the MLA signatory status certificate to the Director General of PNAC.

Pierre Mayaudon, Acting Ambassador at the Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan on the occasion said that the EU is the first trading partner of Pakistan with a total volume of exchanges in excess of 8.5 billion Euros. And we are convinced that EU Pakistan cooperation will progress further if Pakistan is granted the new GSP Plus status by end, this year.

He further said that the compliance and connectivity with the global market are two important factors and in this regard the PNAC's acquiring MLA status will actively link Pakistani institutions with quality assurance bodies in the region and beyond.

Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar, Federal Secretary MoST appreciated the PNAC's efforts for achieving the MLA status and he also acknowledged the role of EU funded TRTA II programme for its continued support to the PNAC and other quality infrastructure bodies under the Ministry.

He also emphasised that the aim of the MLA is in fact to facilitate international trade by encouraging worldwide acceptance of valid accredited certificates, and thus reducing the need for multiple audits.

Bruno Valanzuolo, Chief Technical Advisor of TRTA II programme reminding the extensive training programmes, seminars, workshops, bringing of world's renowned experts in the fields of certifications and laboratory accreditation which led to achievement of this MLA for Quality Management System and Environmental Management System.

He said that it's the beginning of the long road ahead and in fact it puts lot of responsibility and pressure on PNAC and its professional assessors now to maintain this pride at the level desired by the international community.
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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Aug 21, 2013
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