Despite the importance of global process standards, they remain a relatively underdeveloped area of academic and policy research. Little is known of the impact such standards have on local producers, particularly SMEs, in developing countries, or on how they influence organisational linkages within global value chains. Further concerns include whether compliance to standards raises the competitiveness of local firms in global markets, and whether local governance influences how process standards are implemented. This paper examines these issues on the basis of primary evidence from exporting SMEs in Pakistan. They have had to comply with two distinct global process standards: ISO 9000 standard on quality assurance and ILO norms on child labour. Compliance to both sets of process standards has been extensive and rapid, with over half the firms now conforming to the standard in question. Implementation of child labour norms has required a complex network of local and global actors, including local and global business as well as international bodies such as the ILO and UNICEF. In contrast, quality assurance standards have been incorporated through a market-based certification process. Knowledge on th
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