World Bank Document


Preface and Acknowledgments


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Preface and Acknowledgments
Chi fa fala, e chi non fa sfarfalla.
“Those who act make mistakes, 
and those who do nothing really blunder.”
Lackluster growth in many middle-income countries has led to the real-
ization that while macroeconomic stabilization and liberalization are 
necessary, they are not suffi cient to boost growth in developing countries. 
As the emphasis has shifted to microeconomic reforms, most developing 
countries have launched broad trade and competitive initiatives in search 
of that elusive goal, sustained high growth. Yet most of those initiatives 
have fallen short of providing the necessary infrastructure for the devel-
opment and adoption of quality and standards that are critical for secur-
ing access to external markets and supporting increased competitiveness. 
There is limited awareness of the benefi ts to be gained from systemati-
cally producing high-quality products and adopting appropriate, interna-
tionally expected norms and standards. 
These observed shortcomings provided the motivation for undertaking 
this book. As we began to help countries establish and improve national 
quality systems to support their trade and export development initia-
tives, we saw the need for an integrated guide that would bring together 
in a coherent way all the different components that countries need to 
consider in building a national quality system. We hope that this book 
will raise awareness of the impact of quality and standards, place quality 
xix


issues high on the strategic agendas of fi rms and policy makers, and prove 
useful to reform-minded governments as they seek to improve, modern-
ize, and implement their national quality systems.
We are grateful to many people for encouragement in writing this 
book, particularly policy makers, development practitioners, and fi rms 
and private sector organizations in developing countries. They had a clear 
vision of the need for an integrated reference work to create broad aware-
ness of the quality and standards issue and help promote the systematic 
adoption of good quality practices. Our dialogue with these stakehold-
ers greatly enriched our analysis. Their perceptions and suggestions were 
lucid, and a number of them provided vivid examples of the challenges 
as well as illuminating examples of success. 
At the World Bank, we are most grateful to Danny Leipziger for his 
strong support and encouragement from the start; to Enric Banda, Carl 
Dahlman, Marianne Fay, Pablo Fajnzylber, Esperanza Lasagabaster, José 
Guilherme Reis, and Joseph Stiglitz, who provided comments and sug-
gestions on the evolving manuscript; and to Amelia Camino-Forsyth, 
Thomas Haven, and Joy Troncoso, who very generously assisted us in the 
production of this book.
The authors alone take responsibility for the content of the book and 
the views expressed here, which do not necessarily refl ect the views of 
our colleagues in the World Bank Group.
xx Preface and Acknowledgments


xxi

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