Issues of Governance and Upgrading
Edited by Hubert Schmitz
Chapter 11: The effect of global standards on local producers: a Pakistani case study
11. The eﬀect of global standards on local producers: a Pakistani case study Khalid Nadvi* 1. INTRODUCTION Since the late 1980s, there has been a rapid rise in international standards addressing a wide range of concerns, from quality assurance, health and safety, labour conditions, to environmental, social and ethical norms.1 These standards reﬂect a growing interest with how production and delivery takes place as much as with what product or service is provided. The importance of such standards is enhanced by their incorporation in the new ‘rules’ governing international trade. Compliance is often necessary for market entry, and critical to international competitiveness for both developed and developing country producers. Global standards also point to an emerging and critical area of global governance, where various international public and private actors have come together to shape standards and promote their implementation (see Chapter 3, this volume). Yet, little is known of how global standards eﬀect local producers, especially in developing countries, and in particular how they inﬂuence inter-ﬁrm relations, both within clusters and between developing country producers and global buyers that are linked through global value chains.2 This chapter addresses this lacuna by asking whether global quality assurance (QA) standards, and in particular the ISO 9000 standard, enhance or harm the position of local developing country enterprises in the global economy. There are two diametrically opposed scenarios: ● ● Compliance with global standards can potentially oﬀer developing country producers two advantages: (i) a means of raising their productivity...
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