Antigua & Barbuda reaps rewards from EU-funded programme

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The director of the Antigua & Barbuda Bureau of Standards said the twin island state has benefitted immensely from a regional programme funded by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), which was centred on the building of the region’s capabilities in the several areas of quality infrastructure, and using these competences as a means of managing and reducing barriers to trade.
The 10th EDF Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) programme concluded yesterday after a five-year lifespan.
Dianne Lalla Rodrigues said the bureau of standards was able to develop a strategic plan to guide the functions of the bureau and provide training in technical areas, mass and temperature, the acquisition of equipment and a marketing and promotion plan, which is nearing completion.
“This allowed us to bring significant awareness to the Bureau of Standards and to the work of the Bureau of Standards,” Rodrigues said.
The director was addressing an audience at a closeout seminar, held yesterday at the Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts, where managers and implementers of the project, namely the German Metrology Institute, and Caribbean Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), along with the Dominican Institute for Quality, met to provide a breakdown of the project and feedback on the successes, challenges, and lessons learnt over the past five years.
Head of the regional cooperation and trade within the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Luca Pierantoni said although the implementation of the programme was met with several difficulties, all the relevant stakeholders came together in partnership to get the job done.
Chairman of the CROSQ Jose Trejo said the project was tailored to suit the developmental needs of each member states.
The project, he said, had several components: improving standardisation, metrology capabilities, certification, and accreditation and conformity assessment.
“For Antigua & Barbuda as it relates to standardisation, we are working on a regional quality policy. This regional quality policy will inform what will be some of the legislative changes which will need to be pursued as it relates to the Metrology Act in Antigua & Barbuda,” Trejo said.
The work is to be spearheaded by the local Bureau of Standards.
The statutory department also used the occasion to launch the Antigua & Barbuda National Quality Awards Programme which, once fully established, will recognise local producers and manufacturers of goods as well as service providers who have introduced quality management and other quality-based systems.

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