Improving trade, changing lives: The impact of the Global Quality and Standards Programme

July 18, 2023

Improving trade, changing lives. The impact of the Global Quality and Standards Programme

Through its work to increase international competitiveness and exports for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP), implemented by UNIDO and funded by Switzerland through its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), contributes to improving the lives of people.

The opportunities and challenges stemming from the ongoing digital transformation are rapidly changing the ways in which we live and work, while climate change remains the most pressing issue for humanity. New requirements evolve daily, often resulting in technical barriers to trade for SMEs from developing countries and their integration into global value chains.

Quality and standards can help in addressing these global challenges. Ultimately the wide adoption of standards and good practices can contribute to multiple spheres of life, including more sustainable and environmentally friendly industry practices.

Against this backdrop, the GQSP utilizes an innovative programmatic approach to boost sustainable industrialization through quality and standards, to stimulate economic growth, and to reduce poverty, thereby improving lives. The GQSP accomplishes this by reinforcing coherence and developing global solutions—in the forms of knowledge, tools and methodologies—for common quality and standards related challenges, while providing needs-specific interventions at country level that focus on specific value chains. Spanning 12 countries and 16 value chains, these country-level interventions provide targeted technical support to overcome compliance challenges and facilitate market access for specific products.

Since its inception in 2017, the GQSP has helped 1,400 producers access new markets, improved management practices for 3,150 firms and smallholders, trained more than 9,300 people in different technical areas and strengthened almost 140 quality infrastructure institutions.

Find out more about the impact of the GQSP in the newly launched publication “Improving Trade, Changing Lives”.