On October 6, the International Trade Center launched its report, SME Competitive Outlook (SMECO), at the World Trade Organization. SGS was invited to the launch.

The 354 page report focuses on standards and regulations, often referred to as non-tariff measures (NTMs) by trade practitioners. NTMs are crucial for consumer protection and social and environmental stability. They have a major impact on SME competitiveness, as meeting standards for trade enhances companies’ ability to access new markets.

SGS is mentioned in a case study, the only TIC company to be so mentioned:

“Thanks to [Quality Improvement Program], the 120 small-scale shea nut buyers and processors belonging to the Ifedawapo Sheabutter Cooperative had their shea butter samples certified by Nigeria’s regulatory body, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, as well as by internationally accredited laboratories in Ghana operated by SGS, the Swiss based certification services company”
(page 57).

Yves Jobin, SGS Senior Business Development Director, Governments and Institutions, spoke at a panel discussing the key themes of SMECO 2O16. In his talk, he stated that the report was important for two major reasons:

  1. It increases SME awareness of mandatory trade requirements. Although the cost of meeting standards and regulations is low in comparison with the overall cost of logistics, there is a huge increase in costs and delays when certificates must be issued retroactively
  2. It shows decision makers what other countries are doing. Countries that import often have historical regulations and requirements that lock them in silos. SGS has experienced this when connecting government organizations to national electronic singles windows to support trade efficiency. To improve trade processes, there is often a need to review regulations while maintaining the required quality levels   

For more information please contact:

Governments and Institutions Division
t: +41 22 739 91 11

About ITC

ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

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About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 85,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,800 offices and laboratories around the world.