The Ministry of Trade and the TT Bureau of Standards on Friday launched the first of three capacity building projects funded by the European Union through a stand-by facility managed by the Caribbean Development Bank.
The project is titled “Building a Quality Culture in Trinidad and Tobago – Implementation of the National Quality Policy.”
At a virtual meeting on Friday, Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon said the programme is designed to encourage adherence to the 2018 National Quality Policy and to develop a culture which understands the importance of adhering to quality standards in manufacturing sectors and other SMEs.
“Under component four of the National Quality Policy – enabling a proactive environment – the general objective of building a quality culture is to build awareness, understanding and appreciation for the appreciation of quality principles, standards and practices for consumers, businesses, public sector entities and regulatory trade agencies in TT.”
The programme will embark on a public sensitisation programme to create a quality-conscious population, which would in turn support a more internationally competitive and diversified economy.
The programme will be funded by the European Union (EU) through the Caribbean Development Bank, to the tune of 143,000 Euros. In total, the EU will invest about 360,000 Euros through the facility.
“The enhanced awareness of quality principles at the national level is expected to lead to a reduction in the technical barriers to trade, result in lower costs to trade internationally and to increase the competitiveness of local products and services on the international markets. Ultimately this will contribute to the sustainable development of Trinidad and Tobago,” said Peter Cavendish, head of the EU delegation.
He said the other two projects, both approved, would include establishing a trade facilitation enquiry point, which would cost about 59,000 Euros, and developing TT companies’ export readiness for the European market, which would be worth about 162,000 Euros.
“The TTMA is in total support of this project,” said TTMA CEO Dr Ramesh Ramdeen. “The national quality policy is seen by the TTMA as a key component to ensure competitiveness, which would allow for sustainable economic growth.
“In these trying economic circumstances which all businesses operate, these intangibles are key to the sustainability of business operating. Where globalisation has now allowed the globe to meet business operators at their doorstep, we no longer have to go outside of your domestic jurisdiction to face competitors. So it is imperative that we give ourselves that fighting edge to survive in this global environment. This national policy is one such avenue to do so.”