Trade in Services

An Answer Book for Small and Medium-Sized Exporters

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Services have played an important role in world trade for centuries. However, in the past 40 years, the focus of the services trade has shifted away from facilitating the trade in goods to trading in the services themselves. Dramatic changes in communications and transportation technologies have made this possible. While exporters of goods and services face similar challenges, services exporters have to deal with unique issues, many related to their intangible nature. This guide addresses these issues and offers practical and relevant advice to small and medium-sized enterprises to help them improve their export performance or enter new markets.

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Will a small and medium-sized firm be able to implement ISO 9001:2000?

The ISO 9001:2000 standard in its new simplified format is applicable to all product categories, all sectors, and all sizes of enterprises, including SMEs. It is simple to use, clear in language and easy to understand. It is suitable for small companies, as it does not demand the type of paper bureaucracy needed for the implementation of the 1994 version. Only six documented procedures are now required and the need for other procedures/documents can be decided by the company. Companies are, however, obliged to provide objective evidence that the quality management system (QMS) has been effectively implemented. A small company may be able to describe its entire QMS within a single quality manual covering all the documented procedures required by the standard.

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