Trade Ministry encourages collaboration among regional standards bodies
October 2, 2019: Speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the 35th Meeting of the Council of the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and workshop hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry Mr Norris Herbert endorsed increased collaboration by CARICOM Standards Bodies. These unique opportunities he stated, will positively impact the regional trading environment. According to Mr Herbert, “Standards and quality-related initiatives can be used by a wide range of stakeholders from the private sector, the state and civil society to drive economic growth.” The meeting which was held on Tuesday, 1st October, 2019, addressed high-level strategic and policy issues related to the development of the Regional Quality Infrastructure including standards development, metrology, accreditation and conformity assessment systems.
The Permanent Secretary noted the increasing demand at both the CARICOM and national levels to promote and enhance quality and indicated that significant steps are being undertaken by regional governments to institute policies intended to guide the development of the required enabling environment. Citing the implementation of the National Quality Policy (NQP) by the TTBS in Trinidad and Tobago, he said “The NQP establishes strategies for the development, strengthening and reform of the domestic Quality Infrastructure by identifying and addressing with urgency the transition and expansion of our businesses, investment and export led trade in the non-energy sector”. PS Herbert underscored the importance of implementing standards and quality related initiatives that drive economic growth as expressed in Vision 2030, the country’s development roadmap. He voiced confidence that the meeting and the workshop would generate pragmatic strategies aligned to national and regional priorities and available resources.
Mr. Lawford Dupres, Chairman, TTBS in welcoming the CARICOM participants challenged them to develop national quality systems harnessing the collaborative efforts of the CROSQ - the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality. Dr. Renae Ferguson-Bufford, Chairman Pro Tem of the CROSQ Council, acknowledged the increasing demand for quality products and services internationally. She expressed optimism that the 3-day workshop would generate strategies to address enhance quality and standards in among member states despite current constraints.