International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

August/September 2012


Building markets and industries

IEC work helps companies gain the trust of stakeholders and investors

Many companies around the world participate actively in IEC standardization. IEC Global Visions has interviewed some of their CEOs and CTOs to find out why - despite economically challenging times - they see value in sending experts to work in the IEC.


We view IEC as the most global standards body that's available to us, for us to work through. And I think that particular aspect is so important because we can't have - really - country specific standards in the future. The cost of that is too high, we have to go to a much more global set of standards. Our involvement with IEC is extensive, we suspect over time it will be even larger because we think IEC will play an even larger role. And that’s why we participate. Involvement in standards, I think, is one of the best investments a company can make. We’ll all be powerfully influenced by standards in the future. It’s already happening today but certainly it will be more so in the future.

Thomas S. Gross, Chief Operating Officer, Eaton Corporation

CEOs and CTOs are notoriously busy people. They generally don’t like to waste time on details and unimportant stuff. The fact that so many of them have accepted to be interviewed for IEC Global Visions is testimony to the importance they allocate to our work.


Small and big companies depend on the trust of consumers, investors, regulators and even insurers to build new or expand existing markets. IEC work helps them gain that trust. IEC International Standards contain key elements that allow companies to take important short-cuts; the kind that allows them to build consistently and verifiably better products.


Industry leaders tell us that because of their participation in the standard setting process, they are able to reduce production cost while improving innovation and design processes. When their standardization experts sit at the table where the rules for global trade are written, they are able to ensure that their company’s technologies are taken into account and that competition doesn’t have the only say.

Our active participation in the IEC allows us to build trust in our products among our worldwide customers and ultimately millions of end-consumers. Participating in IEC work has proven to be the most effective way for us to build our business and open new markets. I believe that any company that wants to sell and promote its goods and services to the global market has a strong interest in participating in IEC work. The IEC can help you promote your products to global customers, distributors and industry within the shortest time and at lesser cost. By participating in the IEC, we learn a lot from our international peers and this increased knowledge also helps us in our technology development.

Dr Zida Yu, Senior Vice President and Corporate Technology Officer, Haier Group


When we talk to CEOs of new industries or of start-ups they tell us that their participation in the IEC makes it easier for them to convince investors or gain regulatory approvals. They find it allows them to avoid mistakes others have made before and helps them in the certification process.


The IEC is the preeminent standards body at the international level in the electrotechnical sphere and so there are many IEC standards that have been used historically in the grid and newer standards that are under development. By having international standards that are as uniform as possible around the world, it helps everyone. It reduces the costs for the manufacturers, which in turn reduces costs for electric utilities and ultimately reduces electricity rates for consumers.

George W. Arnold, Chief Operating Officer, NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)


  • Thomas S. Gross, Chief Operating Officer, Eaton Corporation
  • Dr Zida Yu, Senior Vice President and Corporate Technology Officer, Haier Group
  • George W. Arnold, Chief Operating Officer, NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)



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