Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: Abu Dhabi Quality & Conformity Council (QCC), the entity responsible for developing quality infrastructure and raising awareness on quality standards in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UAE Ministry of Economy to strengthen collaboration and strategic partnership.

The MoU was signed by His Excellency Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary for Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Economy and His Excellency Engineer Hussain Salem Al Katheeri, Secretary General of QCC.

As part of the MoU, QCC and the Ministry of Economy will strengthen mutual cooperation in the area of mandatory requirements regarding consumer safety, in addition to reporting violations, testing product samples and enforcing legal measures. The agreement will allow the two sides to join hands in hosting and participating in conferences, seminars, lectures, training sessions, workshops, as well as launching initiatives related to market surveillance.

The MoU also contains provisions to promote collaboration between QCC and the Ministry of Economy towards achieving e-readiness.

Commenting on the agreement, His Excellency Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary for Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Economy, said: “In strengthening collaboration with its strategic partners, the Ministry of Economy seeks to enhance the quality of products sold in the local markets and ensure that imported goods are in full compliance with the UAE’s national standards and specifications. Our technical cooperation with QCC will further achieve the Ministry’s objective of fighting commercial fraud and ensuring consumer protection.

“At the Ministry of Economy, we closely collaborate with all concerned authorities at both federal and local levels, including QCC, to enhance surveillance on controlled products, and ensure that the quality, validity and compliance of all products are strictly adhered. This will help us safeguard the safety of consumers and protect their rights.”

The Undersecretary added: “The Ministry of Economy is committed to fighting all manipulations and malpractices that adversely impact the trade landscape in the UAE. In line with this goal, we seek to develop synergies with our partners at local and federal levels as well as the private sector to protect consumers from the hazards posed by goods and products that do not comply with the required quality standards.

“Consumer safety is a critical issue with direct implications on the performance of the national economy as well as public safety. We are confident our agreement with QCC will mark an important step in ensuring the quality of products and the safety of consumers.”

For his part, His Excellency Engineer Hussain Salem Al Katheeri, Secretary General of QCC, said: “This MoU complements QCC’s efforts to further strengthen its cooperation with key government partners at the federal and local level. In 2015, we signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Department of Economic Development (DED) to strengthen cooperation in quality assurance, market surveillance and business license issuance. This agreement translated into enhanced quality awareness among the business community in Abu Dhabi about the importance of safety and quality of products traded in markets.

“Articulating our priority to step-up collaboration with the Ministry of Economy, this latest agreement will help us achieve our shared goals and launch new initiatives and services that promote consumer safety. Furthermore, it will support our efforts to improve the quality of products traded in the markets and enhance the competitiveness of the emirate on a global level – helping Abu Dhabi build a diversified and globally integrated economy.”

He said: “The partnership with the Ministry of Economy will go a long way towards ensuring high and consistent quality standards in the products traded in Abu Dhabi through facilitating improved data sharing and coordination, developing an integrated data base that will help prevent the sale of any non-compliant products to consumers.”

Al Katheeri added that as part of its priority to ensure consumer safety, QCC seeks to create a safer and fairer market in Abu Dhabi, delivering an advanced quality infrastructure at par with the highest national and international safety and quality standards.

The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council was established in 2009 to raise the quality of the emirate’s exports and locally traded products, while protecting the interests of consumers and supporting the UAE’s competitive economy. This is achieved through empowering regulators to establish and implement product safety, legal metrology and conformity schemes. QCC also sets guidelines and benchmarks to identify and verify that the products manufactured and traded in Abu Dhabi conform to the highest quality standards.