ISO 9000 Influence Spreads In Asia

By David Drickhamer Asia appears to have caught the ISO 9000 bug. Through the end of last year the number of ISO 9000 certificates issued in the Far East grew 45% to approximately 81,900, or 20% of the world total. The region was lead by China, which recorded a 70% increase (25,657 total), according to data compiled by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), located in Geneva. Significant growth also was reported in Japan, up 47% to 21,329, and Korea, up 34% to 15,429. Worldwide, the number of ISO 9000-certified operations increased 19% to 408,631, as of Dec. 31, 2000. Although it still represents over half of the world's total ISO 9000 certifications, new certifications in Europe grew at only a 16% pace. Annual growth slowed most significantly in the UK (63,725 total), originator of the international quality standard. But Europe had its hot spots in 2000. The number of ISO 9000-certified operations more than doubled in the Czech Republic to 3,885. Italy recorded a 44% increase to 30,367, nearly matching the certificate total of Germany. And in Spain the number of ISO 9000-certified companies jumped 45% to 12,576. Interestingly, in the U.S. the number of ISO 9000-certified operations grew a marginal 6% last year to 35,000. This compares to one-year growth of 32% in 1999.

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