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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How do I decide whether I should be registered to ISO 9001?

Your primary concern should be whether registration would improve your competitiveness and whether being registered would matter to your potential customers. Some entities require their suppliers to have a quality management system in place and specify this in any contract they enter into for the provision of services. Many government agencies are compelled by legislation to award contracts only to companies that operate a quality management system and are registered to ISO 9001. In some instances, registration may provide added assurance to your potential customers that you can deliver to their requirements. It can also give your company a competitive advantage over your unregistered competitors in the international market. It can be used by customers as a means for distinguishing between different levels of suppliers, especially in high-tech industries, where service reliability is essential.

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