Thursday, 07 March 2013

Strengthening Iraq’s national quality infrastructure

BAGHDAD, 7 March 2013 – A new programme to upgrade Iraq’s national quality system, including the legal framework and infrastructure for standards, accreditation, metrology and conformity assessment, was launched today.
The event at the Ishtar Hotel in Baghdad underlined the importance and relevance of the programme as the country strives to improve its trade performance and consumer protection.

The programme is being implemented by the Central Organization for Standards and Quality Control (COSQC) of the Republic of Iraq, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), with financial support from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). The Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment (SWEDAC) and the UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) are also contributing to components of the programme.

“Developing countries face a range of challenges stemming from weak national quality systems, including limited access to the international trade system, and inferior and unsafe consumer goods,” said Ali Badarneh, UNIDO Industrial Development Officer.

“With the increasing globalization of markets, a robust national quality system is critical to the international trade process. It can ensure that imports and domestically-produced goods meet internationally recognized standards. UNIDO is ready to further assist Iraq in this field.”

Since UN sanctions were lifted in 2003, Iraq has been attempting to further trade relations on a regional and international level. In 2007 and 2008, it participated in meetings to promote its accession to the World Trade Organization. This step is required to align its trade regime with the multilateral international trading system.

In recent years, Iraqi consumers have been suffering from low-quality products, commodities and household appliances, since neither goods manufactured in Iraq, nor those imported from abroad, are subject to quality control standards. The awareness and application of quality assurance and quality control techniques in the production, distribution and importation of products is necessary to safeguard the public against the hazards of spoiled food and faulty appliances.

Iraq’s COSQC manages the national quality system which aims to strengthen the country’s trade capacity and consumer protection. However, due to limited capacities in almost all areas of quality infrastructure, Iraq is in need of technical support to be able to properly address these challenges and to align its national quality system with the principles of the international trade regime.

For more information, please contact:

Ali Badarneh
UNIDO Industrial Development Officer

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