Deal with standards to enhance trade
Standards and quality in Barbados and other CARIFORUM states are about to get a serious boost as officials introduce a Quality Infrastructure Project which they are saying would help to handle facets of the region’s development and improve local, regional and international trade.
This comes as Minister of Business Development and Senior Minister Coordinating the Productive Sector Kerrie Symmonds announced that Government would soon be introducing sanitary and phytosanitary laws.
“The conversation in Barbados should be about sanitary and phytosanitary standards, which is one other piece of laws that’s now on our Order Paper which we’re going to pass in Parliament to hold this country kicking and screaming into the twenty first century. It has to come back,” said Symmonds.
Stressing the importance of top quality standards for food safety and plant health, he acknowledged that when achieved, it bec omes easier for international trade to happen.
“It [commerce] takes place within the fish market with no reference to sanitary and phytosanitary issues. It takes place across the Caribbean in similar circumstances and due to this fact, for us to give you the chance to make sure that that we will trade in those goods that we produce, our people should be comfortable and a part of their second nature should be that standards matter,” said Symmonds.
“For us to get where we wish to be, I think we now have to remodel these operational practices so as to align standards with best practices on this region, and to get our community, especially our small business enterprises and micro enterprises to see standards as a necessary foundation for the services they need to supply and the products they need to develop and to share with the remaining of the community.
“If we will do this, in my judgement, then we take a protracted step and go a great distance towards constructing a quality-based economy,” explained Symmonds.
The problem of standards and quality got here under the microscope on Monday, as CROSQ introduced its 2022 to 2025 Strategic Plan, as well a Quality Infrastructure Project, which is supported by the European Union (EU), the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP)/United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
Coming out of the Quality Infrastructure Project is a Regional Non-Medical Laboratory Policy, which officials say will help CARIFORUM member states to higher develop their laboratories for non-trade purposes.
The Quality Infrastructure Project, which consists of several components and themes, comes with scorecards to trace the activities and objectives.
Chief Executive Officer of CROSQ Deryck Omar said officials of the organisation could be “going hardcore” over the subsequent three years to assist with a “quality culture development” within the region.
“We really need to get right down to the granular level in member states to assist people really understand what standards are about and to indicate them it’s throughout them and so they use it without even knowing it and that they should be more conscious of promoting and pushing those standards once they buy,” he said.
He said the Quality Infrastructure Project, which was certainly one of three to be rolled out, would “finally help the regional quality infrastructures of Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean to start out having some strong linkages.”
“If you happen to can link those quality infrastructures of those three south-south regions together then you definitely can ensure that will help trade to grow between them,” he said.
He added that when the Regional Non-medical Laboratory Policy was adopted by member states, it would help them to have “a strategic and tactical agenda to develop their laboratories for non-trade purposes within the region.”
CROSQ was within the technique of rolling out several other quality infrastructure projects across various sectors.
Quality infrastructure refers back to the institutional framework needed to implement measures akin to standards, accreditation, testing, inspection, metrology and measurement services, certification and quality promotions.
CROSQ Council Vice Chairman Stuart LaPlace pointed to the growing demand for quality management systems, stating that if the region is to “survive and thrive during these difficult times, quality competitiveness and quality infrastructure should be central tenets” of its development.
“In lots of cases, our economies are small and our internal markets finite, which is why we want the potential for expansion which trade provides. The one method to trade in goods and services is to fulfill the regulatory and other requirements to enter new and existing markets, that are likewise tightening their very own controls. That is where sound quality infrastructure shows its strength,” he said.
LaPlace said he believed the new 2022 to 2025 Strategic Plan would begin the technique of taking a look at how the region can reply to the changing needs and demands.
“Each project and intervention takes into consideration what our populace is demanding from member states, in addition to the event of our quality related institutions themselves,” he said.