The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) have unveiled a large-scale new programmatic framework, the Global Market Access Programme (GMAP).
GMAP is a designed to respond to the main quality and compliance challenges that developing countries are facing when trying to access foreign markets and successfully export their products. Today, as the world faces the global COVID-19 pandemic, those challenges and difficulties are more critical than ever. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need assistance to survive, adapt and continue their business operations in the new, even more challenging environment.
Thanks to Norad’s support (GMAP will be funded to the tune of €9.5m) and building on UNIDO’s long experience in providing trade-related technical assistance, the programme will help SMEs in developing countries become more resilient in view of the COVID19 emergency.
The programme will focus on supporting SMEs’ resilience and access to global markets for key value chains, by taking an innovative three-fold systematic approach, aimed at:
- Strengthening the technical competence and sustainability of quality infrastructure-related institutions;
- Enhancing SMEs’ compliance with international standards and technical regulations; and
- Instilling and reinforcing a culture for quality.
The three countries selected, where this intervention will be implemented, are Ethiopia, Colombia and Myanmar, and, following a sequential approach, two other partner countries will be added.
UNIDO and Norad have been cooperating for over two decades through more than 30 projects in partner countries, providing specialized technical assistance in trade capacity building to developing countries and enhancing technical competence and sustainability of the Quality Infrastructure System (QIS).