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Quality linked to competitiveness

Friday, July 14 2017

THE Bureau of Standards hosted its first stakeholder engagement workshop on development of a National Quality Policy on Tuesday 11 July, 2017 at the Bureau’s head office in Macoya. Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, in delivering the feature address noted, “an effective National Quality System supports the continual improvement of the quality of products and services, both locally produced and imported. Improving the quality of our goods and services will result in amplified competitiveness in the market place, as producers would have been caused to innovate and produce at optimal levels.” Gopee-Scoon asserted that, “the National Quality Policy articulates the government’s intentions with regard to the development of the Quality Infrastructure in Trinidad and Tobago.

This may involve changes to legislation, regulations and standards.

Accreditation ensures confidence and trust in the competence of certification and testing agencies and the procedures utilized.” The Ministry of Trade and Industry is currently preparing a note for Cabinet for the establishment of the National Accreditation Agency of Trinidad and Tobago (Accredi- TT). This will be an independent national accreditation body, to accredit companies and organisations that provide conformity assessment services according to International Standards.

Minister Gopee- Scoon informed the stakeholders present that Trinidad and Tobago has never had a National Quality Policy, she said “there has been sporadic growth of quality entities, laboratories, equipment and legislation, but with obvious attendant gaps in the quality infrastructure.

“Therefore, a well-developed National Quality Policy will guide and foster these institutions to function in a more aligned and rational manner. In this way the Quality Policy can positively influence industrial development and have a marked effect on trade. Quality goods and services will attract and retain customers, open new markets and expand product offerings. It is incumbent on any government therefore to develop a Quality Policy carefully, endeavouring to align it with country realities, market demands, international best practices and formal agreements; and this is indeed this government’s approach.” She called for the cooperation of all stakeholders to ensure the success of the policy.

Minister Gopee-Scoon said “Quality is everyone’s responsibility.

Developing National Quality requires cooperation and collaboration, between and among agencies and sectors, Ministries and Institutions in order to successfully improve the productivity and competitiveness of our country in order to increase trade and protect consumers and the environment”.

Lawford Dupres, Chairman Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of (TTBS) affirmed the commitment of the TTBS to lead the development of this Policy, he said, “As the National Standards Body, the TTBS is strategically poised to lead the task of developing a National Quality System (NQS), consistent with the Government’s vision for the advancement of Trinidad and Tobago towards first world status.” He also endorsed Minister Gopee- Scoon’s call for continued public and private sector stakeholder deliberations, involvement and commitment to a NQS that works and benefits all.

Ramon Madrinan, Team member, Mesopartner delivered an insightful presentation on the importance of quality infrastructure.

He demonstrated the impact of a Quality Policy on various sectors of the economy

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