A cross section of stakeholders representing both private and public sector agencies gathered in Port of Spain on November 6, 2019 at a two day symposium to advance the implementation of Trinidad and Tobago’s Quality Policy. The implementation of the National Policy (NQP) which was launched in 2018 is being led by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS), guided by the National Quality Council. Effecting measures supportive of the NQP will create an environment with the requisite systems to enable the production of higher quality goods and services by local businesses. This will ultimately provide consumers with products and services which satisfy global standards and afford exporters the opportunity to compete on quality as opposed to price.
Mr Norris Herbert, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Chairman of the National Quality Council, in delivering remarks during the opening session shared the significance and pervasive nature of the concept of quality. “Quality,” he stated “is a common word used in our everyday language…. However, we must understand that quality is not a natural occurrence. The support of an efficient and effective National Quality Infrastructure is necessary to ensure the production of quality goods and services.” It is expected that the implementation of the NQP will build the foundation and environment for more effective trade.
TTBS Chairman Mr Lawford Dupres, encouraged all the stakeholders to get involved in the process. “The pursuit of Quality in any society must be everyone’s responsibility, and so developing an effective National Quality System requires cooperation and collaboration between and among relevant agencies and sectors, ministries and institutions in order to successfully improve the productivity and competitiveness of our country”he told the gathering.
The NQP highlights the importance of a sound environment or quality system. This system will aid in the elimination of non-tariff trade barriers related to quality. The strengthening of the existing environment will ensure that exporters will be able to demonstrate compliance with international quality requirements and trade rules. Many developing countries require among other things, standardized sets of practices to ensure compliance with international standards, transparent inspection and certification systems and simplified trade to fulfill Trade Agreement requirements that relate to sanitary and phytosanitary conditions and technical barriers to trade.