Press releases

ITC launches new business reports on non-tariff measures

10 February 2012
ITC News

 Today ITC launches the first two of 27 reports outlining business perspectives on non-tariff measures. The reports, entitled Sri Lanka: Company Perspectives and Burkina Faso: Perspectives des Entreprises, are part of the new ITC series of reports being issued in 2012 and 2013.

“This series directly addresses needs expressed by our beneficiaries,” said ITC Executive Director Patricia Francis. “In every client survey, non-tariff measures are reported as a top priority requiring ITC support and technical assistance.”

Over 500 businesses in Sri Lanka were surveyed for their views regarding non-tariff measures. The survey was then used as a basis for public-private sector dialogue, and the results were analyzed for the report.

Fresh food exporters had the highest ratio of companies reporting trade barriers – (80.6%) followed by agricultural commodities (75.7%) and textile and clothing exporters (70%).

Enterprises in Sri Lanka report difficulties with a broad range of measures, in particular with technical testing, inspection and certification, which are required to demonstrate conformity with sanitary and phytosanitary measures. They also face a lack of trade-related infrastructure and burdensome procedural requirements.

In Burkina Faso, companies reported similar issues, and a similar dialogue was arranged between business and government.

As a result of the business-government dialogue in both countries, there is agreement that the priorities to address non-tariff measures are accreditation of national laboratories; related procedures to ease conformity with sanitary and phytosanitary measures; and better information for exporters.

Strikingly, these reports outline challenges on both sides of the border – in export markets as well as within the countries themselves. These challenges limit business competitiveness, especially for small firms, and their ability to integrate into the global economy and maximize the benefits of international trade.

The surveys, funded mainly by the UK Department for International Development, are being conducted over a three-year period (2011 through 2013) in developing countries around the world. Forthcoming reports will focus on Malawi, Morocco and Peru.

The Sri Lanka study is available at:  

The Burkina Faso study is available at:

For future studies, see http://

ITC is the joint agency of WTO and the United Nations and is devoted to helping SMEs in developing countries become more competitive in global markets and thus to speed up sustainable economic development and contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

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