EPA & CSME Standby Facility for Capacity Building
A USD874,932 project to increase business competitiveness, strengthen manufacturing and reduce production costs in Barbados, Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis
The CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) is implementing the “Strengthening of the Regional Quality Infrastructure Programme in Barbados, Dominica, and St. Kitts and Nevis Project”. This is a USD874,932 project to upgrade the laboratories and train staff in three countries and also formulate a National Quality Policy. The labs managed by the Barbados National Standards Institution, the St Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards and the Dominica Bureau of Standards, will be provided with resources to offer specialised tests to the transport, agro-processing and manufacturing sectors.
Exporters from various economies and productive sectors in the region face several barriers to entering new markets, including issues related to quality and adherence to globally-accepted standards. While some mechanisms have been instituted to create a system and mobilise support for the production of goods and services capable of competing internationally, gaps remain. CROSQ, the regional organization responsible for advocating, supporting and promoting the adoption and uptake of quality-related laws, standards, measurement, accreditation and certification procedures, has been advancing efforts to strengthen national standards bodies and increase capabilities. Through the provision of resources to impact the legal, regulatory, infrastructural, capacity and awareness-related deficiencies, the agency is improving the ecosystem to better accommodate the trading of regional goods and services in CARICOM and beyond. This project and other similar interventions continue to positively impact existing assessment systems, the availability of quality and certification services, the manufacture and trade of high-quality outputs, national policy and legislation and local alignment with global best practices.
The current project’s activities will affect the existing quality infrastructure in three countries leading to:
- The development of a National Quality Policy to guide the implementation of quality-related activities in St Kitts and Nevis
- The provision of resources required to ensure labs in Barbados, Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis generate accurate and comparable results by making tests and measurement results traceable, through the use of appropriate adjustment and reference materials
- Assistance to domestic suppliers in three sectors with authentication and brand integrity by reinforcing trust with the other participants in the global value chain, related to reliability and trustworthiness of the laboratory infrastructure in which they operate.
- The ability to test and measure the properties and impact of materials and products, particularly those related to health and safety
- Support for companies to compete, conform to market requirements and connect to various markets
- The facilitation of an environment for integrating, improving the inclusion of measure(ment) to increase the quality and competitiveness
- Equipping National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) with resources to achieve and maintain international recognition for their measurement capability through the Stepwise Improvement Programme (SIP) approach
Throughout implementation project stakeholders listed are continuously engaged, namely:
- Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI)
- Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship (Barbados)
- Barbados Chamber of Commerce
- Dominica Bureau of Standards (DBOS)
- Ministry of Trade, Commerce, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Business and Export Development (Dominica)
- Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce
- St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards (SKNBS)
- Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Labour (St Kitts and Nevis)
- St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce
- Construction Sector, Agro-Processing Sector and Transport Sector Associations
The Strengthening of the Regional Quality Infrastructure Programme in Barbados, Dominica, and St. Kitts and Nevis Project was the second multi-country initiative approved for implementation by the EPA and CSME Standby Facility Steering Committee in 2020. The EPA and CSME Standby Facility (also known as the CARIFORUM-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building) is a EUR 8.75 million programme, financed by the European Development Fund (EDF) and being managed by CDB to support projects in CARIFORUM states including Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. It is intended to build capacity in the region and better position businesses to trade within CARIFORUM and the European Union.
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