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Standards are everywhere, yet go mostly unnoticed. They define how products, processes, and people interact, assessing these entities' features and performance and signaling their level of quality and reliability. They can convey important benefits to trade, productivity, and technological progress and play an important role in the health and safety of individual consumers and the environment. Firms' ability to produce competitive products depends on the availability of adequate quality-support services. A "national quality infrastructure" denotes the chain of public and private services (standardization, metrology, inspection, testing, certification, and accreditation) needed to ascertain that products and services introduced in the marketplace meet defined requirements, whether demanded by authorities or by consumers. In much of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, national quality infrastructure systems are underdeveloped and not harmonized with those of their trading partners. This imbalance increases trade costs, hinders local firms' competitiveness, and weakens overall export performance. The objective of Harnessing Quality for Global Competitiveness in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is to highlight the need to reform and modernize the institutions in the region toward better quality and standards. The book ties in with much of the work done in the World Bank on the business environment, trade facilitation, economic diversification, and enterprise innovation. The countries in the region can improve this situation, revising mandatory standards, streamlining technical regulations, and harmonizing their national quality infrastructure with those of regional and international trade partners. Most governments will need to invest strategically in their national quality infrastructure, including pooling services with neighboring countries and stimulating local awareness and demand for quality. Specifically for the countries of the former Soviet Union, the restructuring process will need to improve governance, thus eliminating conflicts of interest and providing technically credible services to the economy.
Select your download format based upon: 1) how you want to read your book, and 2) compatibility with your reading tool. For more details, visit the Formats page under the Getting Started tab.See and hear words read aloud
- DAISY Text - See words on the screen and hear words being read aloud with the text-to-speech voice installed on your reading tool. Navigate by page, chapter, section, and more. Can also be used in audio-only mode. Compatible with many reading tools, including Bookshare’s free reading tools.
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- Read Now with Bookshare Web Reader - Read and see images directly from your Internet browser without downloading! Text-to-speech voicing and word highlighting are available on Google Chrome (extension installation required). Other browsers can be used with limited features. Learn more
- DAISY Audio - Listen to books in audio-only mode with the high-quality Kendra voice by Ivona pre-installed. Navigate by page, chapter, section, and more. Must be used with a DAISY Audio compatible reading tool.
- MP3 - Listen to books in audio-only mode with the high-quality Kendra voice by Ivona pre-installed. Navigate using tracks. Can be used with any MP3 player.
- BRF (Braille Ready Format) - Read with any BRF compatible refreshable braille display; navigate using the search or find feature.
- DAISY Text - Read with any DAISY 3.0 compatible refreshable braille display, navigate by page, chapter, section, and more.
- Embossed Braille - Use Bookshare’s DAISY Text or BRF formats to generate embossed braille.