ISO and the International Trade Centre (ITC) have published a new handbook setting out the advantages for exporters in developing countries of closer collaboration between national standards bodies (NSBs) and trade promotion organizations (TPOs).
Building linkages for export success has been written for officials with responsibilities for international trade working for NSBs, TPOs or government agencies.
NSBs and TPOs have specific and important roles to play — NSBs as developers of national standards and representatives of their country in international and regional standardization organizations, TPOs as the source of much needed foreign market information, and facilitators of export trade. In most developing countries, the NSB is the national enquiry point as required by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Technical barriers to trade (TBT), and may also be a provider of conformity assessment services. However, in many countries, little or no formal cooperation existed in the past between NSBs and TPOs.
ITC Executive Director, Patricia Francis and ISO Secretary General, Rob Steele, state in the Foreword to the new book, “The growth of international trade and the increasing importance of high level standards and technical regulation in developed markets presents greater opportunities for NSBs and TPOs to collaborate and create more opportunities for exporters to demonstrate compliance with market requirements and enhance national competitiveness.
“This collaboration may assist any enterprise looking to export but especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who find it difficult gaining the information necessary to evaluate and comply with market access requirements in another country.”
To explore how such collaboration could be achieved, the ISO and ITC jointly organized a regional consultation on “Quality Management: Linking TPOs and NSBs for Export Success” in Malaysia in December 2009, partly funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
The new handbook is based on the outcome of that meeting, and reflects the position of those participating. The examples given are drawn from their shared experiences, and can be used by developing economies in all regions to review local situations. This handbook therefore offers pointers for any country to utilise in developing its own approach to help open avenues of collaborative effort between the national TPO and NSB to leverage their services for the benefit of local exporters.
Building linkages for export success – Trade Promotion Organizations and National Standards Bodies working together, A5 format, 85 pages, is printed in English (85 pages, ISBN 978-92-67-10536-9), French (91 pages, ISBN 978-92-67-20536-6) and Spanish (91 pages, ISBN 978-92-67-30536-3) editions. It is available free of charge (fee for postage and handling) from the ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department (see right-hand column). It can also be obtained from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). The handbook can also be downloaded as a PDF file free of charge from the ISO Website.