International Standards bring technological, economic and societal benefits. They help to harmonize technical specifications of products and services making industry more efficient and breaking down barriers to international trade.
For developing countries, International Standards are an important source of technological know-how. Developing countries can use International Standards to access knowledge in areas where they may lack expertise and/or resources.
In addition, International Standards can improve access to global markets. As they define the characteristics that products and services have to meet on export markets, International Standards help developing countries take part fairly in international trade.
Getting involved in standard development
Developing countries can also benefit from actively taking part in the development of International Standards. Standards are developed in an open process and reflect the views of many stakeholders including technical experts, government representatives, academics and consumers. Being actively involved in this process brings widespread benefits, including:
- influencing the technical content of standards to make sure they reflect specific needs
- gaining hands on experience in standardization work that can help build up national infrastructures, and
- giving early access to information and technological knowledge
Playing an active role in the ISO community, promoting the national use of International Standards and taking part in their development, helps developing countries realise their full potential.