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Title: "Bridging the Standards Divide:Recommendations for Reform from a Development Perspective"
Author: John Wilson Development Economics Research Group, The World Bank
Publication Date: February 1 2001
Free/Fee: Free Access
Reads: 3062
Abstract: The impact of standards and technical regulations on trade is at the forefront of public policy discussions. Developing nations face constraints in absorbing best-practice information on standards and mobilizing resources necessary to adopt process and production methods. As traditional trade protection measures such as tariffs, quotas, and voluntary export restraint (VER) agreements have been liberalized, barriers to trade reflected in domestic technical regulations have become more important channels through which trade is blocked. Domestic regulations affecting imports through technical requirements, testing, certification, and labeling represent one of the most important new areas of focus in continuing liberalization efforts. This paper outlines why this is the case and presents recommendations for taking action to bridge the standards divide. In addition, the paper also addresses the important challenges confronting developing countries in voluntary standards systems, with recommendations for strengthening their ability to adopt and absorb information on standards to enhance economic performance.
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