UNIDO, Norway agree programme to support countries’ access to global markets

UNIDO, Norway agree programme to support countries’ access to global markets

VIENNA, 19 April 2021 – LI Yong, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and Kjersti E. Andersen, Ambassador of Norway to Austria and Permanent Representative to UNIDO, have signed the Global Market Access Programme (GMAP) with a duration of five years and a budget of approximately €10.5 million.

In order to successfully compete in the global trading system and reap the benefits offered by the global economy, developing countries need to meet standards and other quality-related market entry requirements. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face difficulties in demonstrating the conformity of their products that is needed for them to access markets and integrate into global value chains. Therefore, UNIDO provides technical assistance and normative guidance to developing countries and economies in transition to address these challenges, with the overall aim of fostering inclusive and sustainable industrial development in target countries.

Funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the Global Market Access Programme is part of a new generation of large-scale programmatic frameworks between UNIDO and Norway. It is based on the successes and lessons learned during a long history of cooperation, and responds to the recommendations presented in the 2015 evaluation report on UNIDO’s trade capacity-building-related activities, commissioned by Norad.

Guided by relevant Norwegian foreign and development policies, the GMAP has been formulated with an emphasis on strengthening national quality infrastructure and compliance capacities of SMEs in Norad’s priority countries in order to support market access for developing countries for selected value chains. The programme foresees the development of five country-level interventions which will address quality-related and other barriers to accessing markets at the macro, meso and micro levels, aiming to:

  • Enhance the technical competence and sustainability of quality infrastructure-related institutions;
  • Enhance SMEs’ compliance with standards and technical regulations; and
  • Strengthen a culture for quality.

Norway’s Ambassador Andersen explained, “The Global Market Access Programme is well-aligned with Norwegian priorities within development cooperation and reinforces the existing long-term cooperation between Norway and UNIDO. The programmatic scope of GMAP will further enable and facilitate synergies across the interventions in the priority countries. Norway appreciates the collaboration thus far and looks forward to supporting UNIDO in achieving the GMAP’s objectives and milestones in the years to come.”

UNIDO Director General Li added, "We appreciate Norway's continuous support to UNIDO and to trade capacity-building in partner countries. The new global programme will follow an integrated framework to enable developing countries to successfully join and operate within global value chains and participate in global markets by meeting quality-related requirements. The programmatic approach will enhance the generation of synergies, subject-specific knowledge exchanges and development of best practices."

The first country project developed under the Global Market Access Programme will provide support to the shrimp and tilapia aquaculture value chains in the Colombian provinces of Tumaco and Huila, while a further intervention in support of the honey value chain is scheduled to commence in Ethiopia. Three additional projects are being formulated, with expected start dates later this year.

For further information, please contact:

Steffen Kaeser, Chief, Quality Infrastructure and Smart Production Division