MINISTER for Commerce, International Trade, Enterprise Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs Bradley Felix has called on St Lucians to pledge their commitment to standards and quality in every aspect of their lives.
He made the call in a message to mark World Standards Day celebrated yesterday.
The following is the text of the Minister’s message:
“It gives me great pleasure to join the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards and the international community, that is the International Organization for Standardization, the International Electro Technical Commission and the International Organization on Legal Metrology in commemorating World Standards Day on 14th October, 2016 and to pay tribute to the work of hundreds of experts in Saint Lucia and worldwide who develop national, regional and international standards.
“This year’s theme “Standards Build Trust” is thought provoking and provides an opportunity to raise awareness on the role that Standards play in providing solutions that will meet expectations, enhance productivity and performance and in so doing, build a relationship that instills confidence between businesses and consumers and improve the overall quality of life.
“The wide range of products and services provided by the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards are all designed to provide the parameters for building trust in our market: the trust that products are safe and perform as intended in compliance with applicable regulations and standards.
“Looking ahead, the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan of the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards outlines the strategic vision of the organization and at the same time, provides a framework for action. The Strategic Plan will allow for selection of and agreement on, the range of actions that are to be pursued in the coming years in pursuit of Saint Lucia’s development goals as well as that of the organization.
“The Bureau’s role in playing a part in improving the quality of life of all citizens is even more relevant as we move forward with the development of our country.
“The National Development Plan asserts that the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards is central to us achieving our objective of improving the quality of life of our people. We have to address the challenges of low productivity, a lack of competitiveness and high unemployment. To do this the Bureau will continue to play both a transformative and developmental role. It is for this reason that the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards continues to re-invent itself to pro-actively assume this important responsibility.
“Among the four key goals which the strategic plan encompasses, there are two in particular which reflect the priorities and ambitions of the government.
“One of those is Enhancing the Developmental Impact
This goal aims at having a long-term impact on the country’s development agenda impacting positively on trade facilitation, industry and commerce as well as increasing the national focus for standards and quality. Local businesses will be better able to meet the standards of export markets, while being able to compete effectively with foreign imports in the domestic market.
“Another of the important goals is Enhancing Client Value
The clients of the Bureau want information, certification, metrology services, standards, standards enforcement, protection from fraudulent measurement and more. It is imperative therefore that the SLBS continues to position itself as a client-focused organization.
“This will ensure that the Bureau remains relevant and on the path of repositioning our country to maximise the opportunities for economic development.
“The theme for World Standards Day Standards Build Trust embodies yet again much of what is important to us as a Government and as such Standardization is reflected as a key factor to support Government’s policies for economic growth, public procurement, building competiveness and innovation, reduction of trade barriers, improved fair trading and protection of consumer interests and environmental protection.
“The work of the Bureau will also be supported by related interventions of the Department of Commerce, International Trade, Enterprise Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs and the Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) as we embark on helping the economy grow a productive base and ensure increased employment.
“It is also important that our local stakeholders and technical experts continue to participate in and support the work of the Bureau so that Saint Lucia is at the forefront of Standardization in our region.
“With the creation of a responsive National and Regional quality infrastructure, Saint Lucia will be able to gain increased confidence of our trading partners, markets and consumers of our products and services.
“In conclusion, I would like to reinforce that the implementation of standards will be key in ensuring greater competiveness for Saint Lucian enterprises making international trade more accessible.
“I would like to commend the Management and Staff of the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards and all our technical experts on their continued efforts to strengthen the National quality infrastructure.
“I also urge all St. Lucians to pledge their commitment to standards and quality in every aspect of their lives and to join the rest of the world in promoting standards and a quality conscious society, to ensure economic and social growth at all levels.”