UNIDO and Switzerland renew commitment to promoting quality and standards

October 16, 2022

UNIDO and Switzerland renew commitment to promoting quality and standards

UNIDO and Switzerland, through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), today signed the second phase of the Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP), a CHF 14 million (approximately US$14.5 million) programme extension to consolidate and scale up joint work initiated in 2017.

The programme is based on UNIDO´s innovative and holistic approach to quality infrastructure cum value chain development. By creating a conducive environment, raising awareness and providing support to the private sector to increase compliance with standards and good manufacturing practices, the approach strengthens the supply side and also stimulates demand for quality services.

Gerd Müller, Director General of UNIDO and Rafael Nägeli, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the OSCE, UN and others

During the first phase of the programme, the GQSP assisted 12 countries to boost their competitiveness in 16 value chains. The GQSP supports industries in achieving greater international competitiveness by strengthening their capacity to comply with quality and standards, thereby facilitating market access for firms and ultimately increasing their exports and integration in value chains. At the same time, the programme developed global solutions for common challenges through global quality tools like the Quality Infrastructure for Sustainable Development Index and the Standards Compliance Analytics tool.

“Since its launch, the programme has strengthened over 250 quality institutions and service providers around the world. It has directly supported 275 firms, mostly small and mediumsized enterprises, in improving their operations, management practices and access to new markets”, noted Gerd Müller, Director General of UNIDO.

Recognizing the success of the first programme phase, UNIDO and SECO have agreed to continue the efforts during a second phase, with a duration of five years (2022-2027). The new programme will build on the results and impact achieved in the first phase, aiming to elevate the programme approach through continuous improvement at the thematic and operational levels to ensure that continued efforts remain effective and meet the needs of the stakeholders.

“Global programmes like the GQSP are a remarkable milestone in the long history of cooperation between SECO and UNIDO. Its comprehensive approach allows country-specific standards and quality compliance issues to be addressed while facilitating synergies, enhancing coherence among interventions and maximizing programme efficiency,” said Raphael Naegeli, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the OSCE, the United Nations and other International Organizations in Vienna.