Increasing the Ability to Comply with Standards or Regulations in order to Improve Trade and Investment

28th May 2019
Author: Evert-jan Quak

This rapid review synthesises the literature from academic, policy, and knowledge institution sources on the effectiveness of development-funded interventions aiming to change standards and regulations or the ability of companies to comply with standards and regulations in order to increase trade in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Standards and regulations can be found in many sectors, such as agriculture and forestry for food safety and sustainability, for responsible mining, compatibility in electronics, for tourist safety and quality in the tourism sector, and prudential regulation in finance. Although research done on the trade impacts of specific interventions on standards and regulations in LMICs cannot be found in abundance, the conclusion of these studies is that technical assistance to comply with standards and regulations increase inclusive participation of SMEs and smallholder farmers in regional and global value chains. Furthermore, trade policy, standards and regulation interventions have a significant positive impact on the quality of the products, increasing access to high-end export markets. In particular, for Sub-Saharan Africa the harmonisation and simplification of documents seems to result the strongest impact on trade performance. In Asian, Latin American and Caribbean, Eastern European and Central Asian countries this is the streamlining of procedures

Download Report
Suggested Citation

Quak, E. (2019). Increasing the ability to comply with standards and regulations in order to improve trade and investment. K4D Helpdesk Report No 590. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies


28th May 2019


Continent: Africa, Europe, South America