Objective 1.2

Global standards and best-practice regulations adopted in key markets

The Government and industry agree that promoting international standards, particularly in our region, should form a key part of Australia’s international engagement.

The use of international standards makes it easier for businesses to sell anywhere in the world. Promoting Australia’s standards is also relevant where international standards are not available.

Industry highlighted that international standards play an important role in promoting business and consumer confidence, productivity and efficiency, reducing costs, removing barriers to trade, and driving economic growth. Standards are crucial to many aspects of service delivery.

Industry representatives stressed that Government should actively participate in standard setting processes and support Australian industry to do the same. Australian involvement will improve the chances that our interest and capabilities will be reflected in any relevant international standards.

Active regulator-to-regulator cooperation in our region is also important. When key markets adopt regulatory frameworks that are similar to Australia’s, it creates an easier environment for Australian firms to do business there.

Diplomatic channels are another important avenue for promoting Australian and international best-practice regulations and standards through information sharing and capacity building initiatives. An informal non-government ‘second track’ diplomacy channel will complement formal efforts by government in regional and multilateral forums.

The Government places a priority on stepping up Australia’s role in global standards setting to grow our exports while protecting consumers.

We recognise Standards Australia as Australia’s peak Non-government standards development body and support its seat in key international organisations such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The Government’s Memorandum of Understanding with Standards Australia outlines the importance of industry consultation and involvement in standards development.

The development and application of international standards for new technologies is a particular focus as we seek to maximise the benefits for Australian businesses in the global economy. We have supported Standards Australia in leading international strategic standards projects, including on blockchain, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and cyber security.

We advocate open global standards that support efficient, interoperable and interconnected global telecommunications network through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). We push for stronger governance and transparency in rulemaking as well as coordination between the ITU and other international Standards development organisations to avoid duplication.

The Government continues to undertake strategic engagement and capacity building activities to promote the adoption of good regulatory practices globally. This includes drawing on expert advice and implementation assistance from peak standards and conformance organisations. We also support business participation in major international forums, such as the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and the business forum (B20) in the G20.

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