Competitive productive capacities for international trade

Competitive, safe, reliable and cost-effective goods and services are a key prerequisite for enhancing an industry’s competitiveness and export market share in tradable goods and services. Industries therefore have a continuous need for market information, know-how, restructuring and upgrading. This is usually supported by investment and technology inflows for process upgrading, as well as by productivity and quality management improvement.

UNIDO’s assistance aims to build the capacities of both public and private institutions in developing countries to formulate trade policies and strategies based on economic and statistical analysis; to benchmark competitive performance at sectoral and product levels; and to establish trade-related databases, such as inventories of technical barriers to trade (TBT), which are designed to expand exports from the industrial sector.

UNIDO’s assistance also provides technical support in establishing regional and national productivity centres to enhance enterprise productivity and export capacity. The activities are mainly targetted at strengthening institutional capacity through the provision of expert knowledge, training programmes, study tours and equipment, the development of tools and methodologies, and the implementation of pilot demonstration projects for replication.

In summary, the overall objective of the assistance offered by UNIDO is to strengthen the capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to raise their productivity so that they can compete in the global market and benefit from the trade opportunities presented to them under the open rule-based trading system. To this end, there are two broad categories of interventions:

  • Capacity building in the area of standards, metrology, testing and accreditation to overcome TBT and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures constraints; and
  • Quality and productivity improvements to enhance the competitiveness of developing country enterprises, and support for the development of mechanisms to assist them in accessing global subcontracting and supply chains and networks.