Implications of Standards and Technical Regulations on Export Competitiveness

"Standards and technical regulations are commonly perceived as barriers to trade particularly when considering the often huge compliance costs and insufficient resources of African economies. The impact of these standards on their ability to compete will largely depend on the response of both private and public sectors. Experiences in some countries, specifically on agricultural and food products, show that the requirements of these standards are manageable and, in certain cases, investments and efforts towards compliance will prove to be worthwhile in the long-run. This paper discusses how standards and technical regulations pose constraints to the competitiveness of exports and aims to provide guidance to research that will aid policy decisions."