Quality is the prerequisite for international competitiveness: Quality is the essential pre-requisite for gaining and maintaining
sustained competitive advantage and market presence in an interconnected world
where goods are sourced from around the world. Through safety, performance,
reliability and sustainability, quality is critical to export success.
Quality improves the
health and viability of SMEs sector: The health, viability and resilience of SMEs
is reinforced through good practices in quality. Thus growth of priority sectors and trade
depends to a very large extent on quality. Enterprises with sound quality
management are likely to be more innovative.
functions across the enterprise: It has implications throughout the operations
of a business, from strategy vis-à-vis competitors, market selection, sourcing,
packaging, to marketing and branding and plays a major role in growth and value
Challenges related to quality that prevent SMEs in
developing countries from participating effectively in international trade may
classified into two types:
1. Specific problems related to technical barriers to trade:
According to ITC research,
approximately 70% of problems faced by exporters due to non-tariff measures are
in the area of technical barriers to trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary
measures (SPS). Specifically SMEs face
The proliferation and existence of a multitude of technical
requirements including conformity assessment procedures in different countries
creates difficulties for SMEs in particular,
ITC’s quality management services designs systematic
interventions to address the technical
issues identified by NTM surveys.
2. General lack of a quality culture
SMEs in developing countries often
SMEs fail to address quality proactively from the early
stage in the design of SME operations, to serve as a foundation for success.
This leads to avoidable low quality of products, waste, high error rates,
reworks, down-times, delays, uncertainty and higher costs.
management services help SMEs to overcome these challenges. The services are
primarily through services channelled through national quality related
institutions and relevant trade support agencies.
Please email Khemraj Ramful, Senior Adviser, Export Quality Management (firstname.lastname@example.org), for more information
Senior Adviser, Export Quality Management