World Bank Group and ISO Partnership Highlights How Countries Benefit from International Standards: Open Trade, Access to Markets and Innovation

March 10, 2016

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2016—The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the World Bank Group announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help increase countries’ awareness and involvement in the development, adoption and use of international standards that promote open, fair and transparent trade.

The MoU serves as the foundation for future cooperation in the areas of knowledge generation and dissemination; encouraging research and promoting awareness; improving monitoring and evaluation; and enhancing capacity around international standards that give countries the opportunity to participate in global trade and that contribute to economic development, social progress and protection of the environment.

Kevin McKinley, Acting Secretary-General of ISO said: “We are pleased to partner with the World Bank Group in this way. This signing is an important first step in working towards shared objectives supporting sustainable economic development, as well as fair and transparent trade. Working with the Bank Group is a unique opportunity to help developing countries strengthen their national quality infrastructures to better integrate with regional and global markets. This partnership with the World Bank will also support our collective efforts to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

Anabel Gonzalez, Senior Director, Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank Group said: “This signing underscores the World Bank Group’s commitment to support the integration of developing countries in the global economy. International standards play a crucial role in helping countries increase productivity, access international markets and maximize the benefits of joining value chains. We have an important role to play in strengthening the capabilities of developing countries and their firms to participate in the development of international standards, as well as in complying with those standards.  This alone can contribute to addressing the challenges of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. We look forward to working closely with ISO to not only highlight the role international standards play in increasing global trade but the benefits countries will receive by actively taking part in the development of these standards.”

About the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group (WBG) is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Bank’s private sector arm; the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank works closely with the rest of the World Bank Group to help developing countries reduce poverty, promote economic growth, and build shared prosperity. The institution provides a combination of financial resources, knowledge and technical services, and strategic advice to developing countries.

About the International Organization for Standardization

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 162 national standards bodies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges. These standards give world-class specifications for products, services and systems, to ensure quality, safety and efficiency and help facilitate international trade.

Media Contacts
The World Bank:
Kristina Nwazota
Tel : (202) 123-4567
The ISO:
Katie Bird
Tel : +41 22 749 04 31