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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Number of Downlaods: 35

Published Date: Jan 1, 2004

Regional Initiatives (Institutional, Human, Organizational) Required to Implement the Agreements on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), and on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and their ProvisionsShaheen (W-87)

Rafi Khan and Sadia Haider


Developing country exporters are awakening to the reality that prices are not the only criteria for sellebility. As import tariffs decline and quota entitlements under the MFA phase out, production and trade regimes in South Asia will need to become leaner and cleaner, reflecting emerging consumer preferences and inter-governmental requirements. These are articulated in the form of a growing array of quality, social and environmental standards. In other words, only those products will have a competitive edge which are of a high quality, have no adverse health impacts embodied in them and can be safely disposed after use. Not surprisingly, these standards evoke reactions in the South, ranging from sovereign issues to concerns about non-tariff protection. There is merit in each of these viewpoints but there is also a convergence of interest as well as available recourse. Thus, industries in the south act in the national interest when their actions limit damage to the environment or institute health and safety measures for workers. Conversely, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has mechanisms for dealing with unfair trade practices.

At the end of the day it is not only expedient, but also profitable for exporters to comply with the increasingly complex demands of international clients – both in the public and private sectors. However, ‘willingness’ to comply does not translate easily into ‘ability’ to comply. This is based upon a complex mix of institutions, policies, financial means and technical capacity. Further, such capacity needs to be able to address the different dimensions associated with compliance namely, the implementation of standards, information access and dissemination, certification and accreditation. The WTO Agreements on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), and on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) contain provisions for harmonizing international standards and facilitating technical assistance to developing countries to comply with them.

Developing countries often advocate the need to become more proactive in the standards setting process. The argument is that international standards should reflect their cultural affinities and environmental tolerances. There is no quibble with this but it does track back to the issue of scientific and institutional capability. Absent such capability, developing countries will not be able to comply with international standards, much less engage with the TBT, SPS and other voluntary ISBs in setting- for lack of a better word-‘south-sensitive standards’.

This paper identifies regional capacity building approaches to enhance compliance with the TBT and SPS Agreements and company bilateral requirements pertaining to technical regulations and voluntary standards, in order to increase access for South Asian exports. Clearly there is an established need for this as regional and global economies become more closely integrated. However, the backward linkages with national capacity building imperatives are also emphasized. This recognizes both the embryonic nature of the initiatives underway in the region and the political and logistical complexities associated with regionalization. While there is undeniable merit in being forward looking, grounding this in the national context will make the regional constructions more realistic.