The present research explores the problems that China’s certification industry faces in globalization and proposes strategies and solutions.
With the development of globalization and regional integration, tariff as a barrier to trade decreasing, policies used as trade measures weakening, and trade frictions and disputes becoming ever more intensive, governments depend more and more on technical barriers to protect the interests and the industry of its own nation. One important technical barrier is certification. Thus concerns over the future development of certification were brought about globally (among WTO members particularly). More and more people regard certification as an indispensable part of the globalizing trade and the modem market economy. WTO principles dominated by developed countries require that developing countries, where market economy is of low maturity and certification is comparatively new, open their certification markets. Meanwhile, recognition arrangements between countries and regional ones come into being, and a small number of big players are expanding their certification business in almost every comer of the world. As a result, developing countries begin to worry if their products and services will be assessed justly and reasonably, if the government’s macro control in this field can be effectively exerted, if related industries can be reasonably protected, if consumers will have to pay more than reasonable prices for goods and services. These are also important problems China has to deal with for its economic growth in an environment marked with globalization and WTO.
This thesis starts with the development and major features of globalization, regional integration and WTO, and then gives an introduction of WTO/TBT and SPS agreements and their impact on certification, and the definition, types and models of certification. This general introduction is followed by a study on certification in the global context, including the emergence and development of certification in developed and industrialized countries, and its relation to the development of trade and economy, the impact of globalization and regional integration on certification, global expansion of certification and the future trend in this particular field. The essay then goes to the history of certification in China, the current legal system in China, commitments related to certification made for its accession into WTO, and explores into how certification affects the growth of the Chinese economy and how Chinese certification should deal with the opportunities and challenges brought along by globalization.
The body of the thesis takes globalization, WTO and their impact on certification as the point of departure. With an analysis of the history and future development of certification in the international context as the basis, the essay then focuses on the current status of certification in China. Using the “diamond” theory of Michael E. Porter, from various perspectives including factor conditions, demand conditions, firm strategy and structure, rivalry from competitors and chances, and the role of government, the essay makes a comparative study of the successful experience from other countries and the status of certification in China, gives a penetrating insight into the problems of certification in China and proposes ways to form the competitive advantage of Chinese certification. It aims to provide valuable theoretical basis for the reform and development of certification in China and to help enrich knowledge of the developing process of Chinese market economy.