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6,000 factories fail to get ISO certificates
By Nawaf Afit
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 12 - 05 - 2010

Only 10 percent of factories in the Kingdom have been able to qualify for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certificate, with 6,000 having not done so.
This is according to Abdul Mohsen Al-Yousif, Director General of Quality Control at the Saudi Arabian Specifications and Standards Organization (SASSO).
The ISO certificate is a worldwide standard to ensure the safety and quality of products and services produced in the Kingdom.
Nabeel Bin Ameen Mullaa, SASSO Governor, said his organization will submit its strategic plan and budget to King Abdullah for approval in the next six months.
Mullaa made the comments while addressing the first workshop on future quality strategy here on Tuesday.
In his speech, he stressed the importance of quality in developing industries.
He said the organization's 2020 strategy will form the basis for its future development.
He said the strategy, which will be reviewed by experts from the public and private sectors, will enable the Kingdom to join the club of advanced countries.
“Being a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) places a responsibility on all trade organizations and factories operating in the Kingdom to strictly implement WTO rules and measures, including getting the ISO certification,” he added.
Abiding by WTO measures helps to improve the working environment by detecting and solving the difficulties which can improve the standard of productivity and services.
He said SASSO has worked out a program for membership. It has selected eight government and non-government bodies to lay out the principles of the strategy.
“SASSO is working on a program aiming to consolidate the concept of quality in the products and service sectors; and setting a deadline for all producers and manufacturers to get the ISO certification for their products.
He said the ISO certification is a guarantee for the safety of food and home-based products.
Mullaa said expects it will become obligatory within one year for industrialists and manufacturers in the Kingdom to put the ISO's sign on products which affect consumers' safety and health.
Meanwhile, Al-Yousif, who also addressed the workshop, has revealed a plan to set up a national center for quality and excellence.
He said all the measures and programs of SASSO will raise the Kingdom's products and services to an international standard.
He said SASSO is in the process of setting up a database for goods and services and to create prizes for quality products.

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