SLBS, CARICOM to implement quality standards for regional products

By Fernelle Neptune, GIS

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The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards in collaboration with the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) hosted a national consultation yesterday.

The draft regional policy, Quality Infrastructure and Conformity Assessment, is expected to focus on strengthening competitiveness and sustainability of goods and services produced within the member states of the region.

Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs, Hon. Emma Hippolyte said such an initiative will strengthen and support the work of the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards.

“This is an important stepping stone for the region as we seek to diminish the trade barriers that exist and the bureaucratic processes that hinder or inhibit regional trade,” she said. “Within the context of trade facilitation and consumer protection, the proposed conformity assessment framework will provide assurance that a product or service meets recognized standards and our expectations.”

Director of The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards, Dr. Mkabi Walcott said he hopes the regional draft policy on quality infrastructure will facilitate regional and international trade.

“The role of the private sector in the development of this regional quality infrastructure is important because, within the member states, each country has its peculiarities in accessing quality. We are hoping that through the regional quality infrastructure that member states will be able to develop their own national quality policies and these will be synergized to create within the region what we hope would be a level playing field for the trade of goods and services.”

This national consultation on the draft regional policy for Quality Infrastructure is part of the 10th EDF-EPA program.

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