Sharing Economy is one of the sectors selected for Outcome 2 of the UK-China Business Environment Programme Standards Strand: improvement in the quality of standards submitted to international standard-setting bodies

International standards contribute to independent income opportunities and the sharing economy presents new ways for people who might not otherwise be economically active to participate in a wider range of businesses.

In particular, it encourages the uptake of goods and services moving away from an ownership-focused economic model. As such, lower-income individuals may have easier access to some goods and the services they provide (shared cars, shared bikes) without the cost associated with ownership.

Shared resources can cut down on individual energy consumption, lead to an increased interconnection with other circular economy activities, and help to tackle climate change.

Given the cross-border context, with differing parties in different jurisdictions, it is important to focus on international standards to build trust and in so doing, access to wider market opportunities. The sharing economy lowers barriers to entry into the market, leading to wider and more inclusive participation.

Other significant benefits include increased opportunities for buyers, suppliers, and investors and in the long term, the Programme can lay the foundation for the UK sharing economy services in China.

Process for joint development of proposals for international adoption

  • Establish a joint working group to identify areas of common ground and agree on areas for collaboration
  • Technical expert exchanges to develop content and plan for the introduction of new work item proposals
  • Post ballot assessments and follow up actions including lessons learned
  • Communications strategy to promote awareness on the importance of international standards