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Standards increase economic growth and help companies access foreign markets

* Standards_Thomas.jpgA new study conducted in the Nordic countries shows that standards are associated with 28% of GDP growth. Companies benefit from standards the most by getting access to new foreign markets and ensuring the quality of their products.

A vast majority of the respondents, 87%, consider that standardisation plays a key role in their future business plans.

Standardisation is a key to a well-functioning, economically prospering and sustainable society. It is also a way to increase economic growth. These conclusions can be made from the results of the new study ''The Influence of Standards on the Nordic Economies'.

The study was made in the five Nordic countries, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. In total 1,179 Nordic companies in different industries with prior experience from the use of standards took part of the study.

One of the most important findings of the study was that standardisation is associated with 28% of GDP growth in the Nordic countries between 1976-2014. The value of standards derives mainly from increased productivity and efficiency. The study shows, for example, that doubling the stock of standards in an economy is associated with an increase of 10.5% in labour productivity. On average, standardisation is associated with an annual increase in labour productivity of 0.7% per year.

"The results of this study show that standards have a significant role in all Nordic countries," says Thomas Idermark, CEO at SIS, Swedish Standards Institute.

"The efficiency and economic gains that companies get from standardisation reflect highly to the welfare of each country. When companies are prospering and effective the customers - the citizens - get the best quality in products and a well-functioning society. Standards can also guide companies to operate more ecologically and with solid processes

The survey reveals that following and applying standards is an important part of Nordic companies. The most important reason for companies to use standards is to improve market access (34% of respondents), improve product/service quality (32% of respondents) and manage risks (26% of respondents). Companies experience similar benefits of standards independently of which country they operate from.

Standardisation also plays an important role when companies make their future business plans, state a large majority (87%) of the respondent companies. Standards are emphasised as a good means to follow technical development. The result is robust across sectors, although regarded as particularly important by companies operating within seafood and fisheries (73%), ICT (67%) and trade (65%).

* Standards_Jacob.jpgJacob Mehus, CEO at Standard Norway, comments:

"As technological development continues, yielding new and innovative products and solutions, there will be need for more standardisation to coordinate the market. Especially ICT and Healthcare sectors are growing rapidly and companies who take part in creating new standards will be in a leading position in their sectors."

The study concludes that participating in the standardisation work is a well appreciated (82% of the respondents) way to influence the future of one's field. This result is especially interesting to startups and companies bringing new innovations to market.

The study was conducted by Menon Economics in cooperation with Oxford Research and the Social Science Research Institute of the University of Iceland. Together they formed a cross-Nordic project group cooperating on an analysis of how increased use of standards influences economic development in the Nordic countries, both in a macro perspective as well as in a company level approach. The study was commissioned as a joint initiative by the Nordic standardization bodies: Standards Norway (SN), Danish Standards (DS), Swedish Standards Institute (SIS), Finnish Standards Association (SFS) and Icelandic Standards (IST). In total, 1,179 Nordic companies in eight different industry sectors (e.g. construction products and services, manufacturing industry, ICT and healthcare) with prior experience from the use of standards took part in the study.

www.sis.se / www.standard.no

24th May 2018

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