Quality tools and techniques, such as those that guarantee the accuracy of measurements, are needed even more now in the current global environment, says Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Business Development, Hon. Sandra Husbands.
The minister was speaking at the commissioning ceremony for the Barbados National Standards Institution’s metrology (measurement) laboratory at Culloden Road, St Michael. She said these metrology systems were playing “an increasingly critical role in Barbados’ decision making”.
“I am heartened to see the advances the BNSI has made in the steps towards building an internationally-recognized capacity, in force metrology, which can provide the required evidence of product and service compliance.
“Upgrades to the ‘Metrology Services’ provided by the BNSI will support the anticipated building boom throughout this sector in Barbados, giving confidence to the start of multiple public and private- sector projects which are expected to commence with planning approvals,” said Minister Husbands.
The laboratory commissioning demonstrated the Barbados Government’s commitment to the BNSI through the upgrading of the physical plant, while a European Union (EU)-funded project managed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), called the EPA and CSME Standby Facility, provided equipment.
EU Ambassador, H.E. Malgorzata Wasilewska expressed pleasure at the accomplishments of the BNSI, which were supported by CDB and facilitated by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ).
She underscored the commitment of the EU in maintaining its partnership with the region, “especially in its support to beneficial integration of the CARIFORUM Member States into the world economy”.
CROSQ CEO, Mr. Deryck Omar and Director of the Project Department at the CDB, Mr. Daniel Best were both effusive of their praise for the achievements of the BNSI.
Mr. Omar noted that policy and strategic developments in quality had to go hand in hand with leadership at the higher levels of government, coupled with the quality institutions for progress to occur. The BNSI, he said, was a prime example of in-kind country contributions, alongside regional and international support to aid the progress of quality infrastructure.
Mr. Best commented on the continued contribution of the BNSI, and other project beneficiaries to national development through services offered primarily to industry. This includes the metrology laboratories in Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis.
“This project has targeted specific economic sectors with the intent of strengthening trade. In this instance, we have provided resources to the BNSI to increase local expertise and resources at its specialized lab to support Barbados’ private sector. The organisation … now offers new and enhanced measurement and calibration services to the business community, in particular, the construction and infrastructure sectors,” he said, adding that this aligns with the Bank’s efforts to promote inclusive grown and sustainable development.
His comments complemented those of Chairman of the BNSI, Mr. Ryan Brathwaite who noted that a key focus for the Institution was strategic solutions to the economic problems of Barbados.
“[These] solutions lie in part, in enhancing the industrial and export activity of the country. This is only possible if the quality of Barbados’ goods and services is improved to meet international standards and remain cost competitive in the national and export markets. In order to exploit foreign markets, it is required that Barbados’ industry has access to an internationally recognized but supportive national quality infrastructure that can provide the required evidence of product and service compliance. Strategic considerations have better positioned BNSI in developing efficiencies in providing such NQI services, as well as strengthening other NQI institutions,” said Mr. Brathwaite.
The CARIFORUM Directorate, through Deputy Programme Manager, Mrs. Yvanette Baron-George also extended congratulations to the BNSI on its accomplishment, thanking the Barbados Government, the EU and its partners for their role in this successful outcome.
About the Strengthening of the Regional Quality Infrastructure Project
The Standby Facility is a €8.75 million resource managed by the Caribbean Development Bank and financed by the 11th European Development Fund. The Strengthening of the Regional Quality Infrastructure Project is one of the Facility’s many projects, and involves the countries of Barbados, Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis. It is being implemented with the help of the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards & Quality (CROSQ).
The project is contributing to the measurement labs of the bureaux of standards in the three countries, through funding to provide equipment and technical assistance, as well as to develop the National Quality Policy of St Kitts and Nevis. The intervention is intended to create greater profit-making opportunities for regional enterprises, the production of more competitive products and services and access to new markets, while meeting the countries’ demands for globally recognised and high-quality testing and measurement services, especially by industry.
For more information, please contact
Ms. Renate Lynn Sealy
Barbados National Standards Institution
Ms. Latoya Burnham
CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards & Quality
Ms. Cassie-Ann James
Caribbean Development Bank