The implementation of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Quality Policy (NQP) will strengthen market access by enhancing the country’s capability to trade more effectively. Citing benefits to be accrued by both citizens and business persons with the application of the Cabinet approved policy, Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon stated that “businesses face challenges in meeting stringent quality standards abroad and in competing with poor-quality imported products…the National Quality Policy will address these market access challenges.”
The NQP will aid local businesses with, increasing competitiveness and their ability to participate in international value chains. It is anticipated that the NQP’s implementation will build specialist capabilities and enhance resources in quality related areas. Implementation of the NQP will also develop and enforce technical regulations and practices which support the production and creation of high quality goods and services; ultimately leading to an environment where the quality of goods and services being traded is improved.
The policy vision was reinforced by Mr Norris Herbert, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry who also anticipated a positive impact on trade with the NQPs operationalisation. According to the Minister, the responsive policy addresses several barriers identified by stakeholders related to laboratories, legislation, enforcement, certification and accreditation. While the Government has negotiated a number of trade agreements for manufacturers and service providers there is opportunity to ensure market presence. She added, “There are many price competitors and therefore, Trinidad and Tobago’s emphasis should be on delivering products and services that differentiate themselves in the world market place on the basis of quality, value and innovation rather than on price alone.”
During the period of the policy’s implementation which extends to 2030, a robust system of regulation, certification and assessment will be introduced to protect consumers and increase the presence of local products on the global market. This will be facilitated by the work of a National Quality Council which will ensure that high quality goods and services can be produced locally and Trinidad and Tobago’s reputation and brand as a provider of quality products and services in the national and international markets is assured. This view was affirmed by Mr Lawford Dupres Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards. The policy was launched at the Ministry of Trade and Industry on April 24, 2018 by the Minister of Trade and Industry Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon.