Quality Standards Help to Enable a Better Economy
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS DAY 2017!
This year’s International Standards Day is being observed under the theme: Standards Make Cities Smarter. Standards affect every aspect of our daily lives. The ISO, the International Organisation for Standardisation, has “developed 21854 International Standards which define essential requirements to make products and services that work”.
“Of course not everything needs to be standardised. International Standards only address shared challenges and the things that matter most,” according to their website.
Locally, the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) is the agency responsible for the implementation and monitoring of standards for goods and services. The agency has been developing and monitoring a number of standards to aid industries. This would make it easier for those adherents to trade across borders.
One of the important projects the Ministry of Business through the GNBS has been implementing is the “Enhancing the National Quality Infrastructure for Economic Diversification and Trade Promotion” NQI.
The objective of the project is to support economic diversification and exports through the enhancement of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) and through a National Export and Investment Promotion Strategy.
The program comprises three subcomponents being “Modernisation of the Institutional Framework of the NQI” which will support capacity building of the stakeholders of the NQI, in particular the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS), in strengthening the areas of technical regulations, compliance, conformity, accreditation and training, and capacity building of public and private stakeholders, particularly Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and exporters of non-traditional products.
This component also seeks to establish a network of public and private laboratories which will ensure greater collaboration and communication in the NQI. Additionally, a website will be designed, which will have information on the services offered by the laboratories in the network, thereby making it easier for businesses to access information on Guyana’s NQI.
It also looks at “Improving Laboratory Facilities and Equipment” which aims to improve facilities within the national quality infrastructure. In this regard this subcomponent will finance a new facility to house metrology, testing, and legal metrology, the required equipment for the adequate functioning of the GNBS laboratory services as well as specific equipment for the Ministry of Public Health (MPH) and Ministry of Agriculture (MoA).
The program also focuses on “Implementing the National Export and Investment Strategy”. This subcomponent aims to enhance the ability of Guyana to connect with regional and global value chains through the promotion of exports and foreign direct investment, particularly in agribusiness.
The NQI Project was launched in July 2017 with a workshop for stakeholders. In his remarks at the event, Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin stated that, “We all want a better economy for Guyana, because we all want better lives for ourselves and for our children and our grandchildren. And this is what this project has to make a contribution to.”
He said, “The National Quality Infrastructure for Economic Diversification & Trade Promotion Project is going to improve the systems that we have in place to verify the quality of what we produce so that we can guarantee the people who are buying our products that what we are selling them is what they want to buy.
Once we can do this we will greatly increase our chances of being able to sell our products on the international market, and this in turn will increase Guyana’s export earnings and improve our economic performance. It may sound simple but it’s not. But it is how lives are going to improve and how our country will advance.”
In the coming months, an awareness campaign will be launched to inform stakeholders of the project in greater detail and gather their feedback to ensure that the activities are aligned with their needs. The Ministry of Business through the GNBS intends to work with our stakeholders to ensure that quality standards are implemented across Guyana for the development of a better economy.
Sherod Avery Duncan
Ministry of Business
TEL | 592-225-1223 EXT | 214