PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago (Wednesday, November 24, 2021) — Planning and Development Minister, Camille Robinson-Regis, is highlighting the government’s drive to boost quality control systems in a number of sectors.
According to the minister, a new project, being undertaken by government, will help to build a quality culture and work towards enhancing competitiveness in the global market place.
The initiative, ‘Building a Quality Culture in Trinidad and Tobago – Implementation of the National Quality Policy (NQP) Project’ is expected to contribute to the overall competitiveness of goods and services produced for export.
Its current focus is on food and beverage manufacturing, business, professional and Information Communication Technology services, as well as agriculture and agro-processing sectors.
The project will contribute to the sustainability of the manufacturing sector and increase the quality and quantity of raw materials for production, the government said in a release, adding that “It also aims to increase public awareness and understanding of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Quality Policy, led by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.”
Facilitated with support from the European Union (EU) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the project will engage a wide cross-section of industry, with the aim of improving the quality of goods and services being produced and exported.
“The project will be implemented under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and CSME Standby Facility for Capacity Building to the value of €198,000.00 (TT $ 1,516,680.00). It is to be noted that the funding will comprise grant funding from the CDB under the Standby Facility and counterpart resources, in kind, by the government,” disclosed Minister Robinson-Regis.
The Ministry of Planning and Development is the focal point for the EU and the CDB in Trinidad and Tobago, and Minister Robinson-Regis, in her capacity as Governor on the Board of Governors of the CDB, signed the Grant Agreement for the Project, on behalf of the government, on September 29, 2021.
“This Project will be implemented by the Ministry of Trade and Industry through the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) over a period of three years, informed Minister Robinson-Regis, adding that Trinidad and Tobago’s manufacturing sector accounts for over 50,000 employees and encompasses a number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which contribute to 9 percent of the country’s GDP.
“Improving our processes to meet the demands for high quality from local and global consumers will be to the gain of our existing enterprises, as well as those, now emerging into the local and global economy.
“For this reason, building a high quality culture in Trinidad and Tobago is an imperative and a key project for government, to ensure the sustainability of Trinidad and Tobago’s economy, especially amidst the current economic challenges brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic and the fossil fuel sector,” she argued.
The Project is in alignment with Trinidad and Tobago’s National Development Strategy: Vision 2030, which speaks to the government playing a more facilitative and supportive role in creating the enabling environment for the private sector to drive diversification, through Theme Four, Building Globally Competitive Businesses, and touching on goals such as “A business environment that is conducive to entrepreneurship”; “A more attractive destination for investment and trade”; as well as “Firms producing high value products and services that can compete in export markets”.
The Quality Culture Project also aligns to the Roadmap to Recovery, which charts Trinidad and Tobago’s path through and out of the current pandemic, through Priority Area 6, which focuses on “Investing in Strategic Sectors to Create Growth and Jobs”, explained Minister Robinson-Regis.
Between November 22-26, the Ministry of Planning and Development is hosting a CDB Mission to Trinidad and Tobago, which is featuring meetings with the government, private sector, Tobago House of Assembly and the Central Bank.
On the agenda for discussion is: deepening private sector engagement; key policy priorities for government; innovative finance; climate change mitigation and adaptation; education and renewable energy.
Later in November, a meeting is also scheduled, between Minister Robinson-Regis and EU Ambassador, Peter Cavendish.