How standards drive trade
Standards that have been adopted and are used across multiple markets reduce market entry barriers for companies trading between these nations, so companies can do business faster and more cost-effectively.
The harmonization of standards across countries can act as a catalyst for trade, supporting companies to sell their products and services without the need for adaptations across different markets. Standards support interoperability, reduce transaction costs and provide a signal of quality to customers and buyers around the world.
Likewise, standards play an important role in reducing technical barriers to trade, reducing production costs and offering opportunities for economies of scale – companies are able to access a global consumer base.
Standards support UK companies to work in the best way possible and to produce the best possible products for a global marketplace. This helps companies to be cost-efficient and to drive innovation in products and services, opening up new and exciting trade opportunities. .
In short, standards act as a passport to trade for UK exporters.
Standards in action
Across the world, standards have helped organisations and countries because they:
- Reduce the barriers to trade
- Offer opportunities for economies of scale
- Cut production costs
- Increase consumer and trading partner confidence
- Improve export performance and brand awareness
- Speed up innovation and help companies get to market faster
Supporting UK-China trade
China is an extremely valuable trading partner for the UK. Over the past few years, BSI has been developing a strong relationship with partners in China including General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and the Standardization Administration of China (SAC).
- 2013: in a major breakthrough, an agreement that facilitated the two way recognition of UK and Chinese standards was signed, providing a mechanism to increase international trade between the two countries.
- 2015: a UK-China Standardization Cooperation Commission (SCC) was established as a platform to coordinate standardization activity, promote economic and technical cooperation and facilitate bilateral trade.
- 2016: Dr Scott Steedman, BSI Director of Standards, was appointed to the national-level China Standardization Expert Committee. This body advises China on the revision of their national standardization laws.
Today, the SCC is delivering many positive outcomes for UK-China trade, with working groups and programmes focusing on smart cities, graphene and civil nuclear energy.