The Impact of Standards on Industrial Development and Trade

Abstract:For developing countries, standards present opportunities and challenges. Countries that invest in vibrant metrology and standards programs can improve their trade activities and investment attractiveness. However, standards can inhibit trade when, for example, they are used to protect domestic production or where there are inequities in access to certification and testing systems. Most countries in Latin America, Africa, South and East Asia, and those moving to market economies lack the necessary infrastructure to support standards programs. Important trends include multinational and regional initiatives. The World Trade Organization Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade promotes mutual recognition agreements among countries, while regional initiatives are seen in the European Union, the North American Freed Trade Agreement, and the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation group. Another trend is the blurring between voluntary standards and mandatory regulations. For example, the ISO 9000 …

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