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Message from Senator the Honourable PAULA GOPEE-SCOON – Minister of Trade and Industry In celebration of the 46th ANNIVERSARY of the TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO BUREAU OF STANDARDS

The Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) has sought to consistently serve the needs of the nation in accordance with its mandate for over four decades. As the TTBS celebrates its 46th Anniversary, I join with the TTBS in affirming its unyielding commitment to safeguarding public health and safety and protecting the environment by developing, promoting and enforcing standards, to improve the quality and performance of goods used in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

As a statutory body under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, TTBS plays a key and active role in ensuring that the citizens and organisations live and operate in a safe and economically sustainable environment. Products and services, whether of local or international origin, must conform to standards deemed necessary for safe and sustainable operations which in turn redound to facilitating sustainable economic growth.

The TTBS has the responsibility to balance the economic development of the nation, in alignment with the welfare of the citizens, through its work in supporting the development and implementation of the National Quality Policy (2018-2030) and the National Quality Infrastructure. Such a balanced National Quality System (NQS), when appropriately utilised, can improve the ease of doing business, increase exports and productivity of firms.  Any nation seeking to transition from developing status to developed nation status cannot ignore the value of standards and the need for a robust NQS.

Over the years the TTBS has transformed from the national standards body to also being the national conformity assessment body (testing, calibration, inspection and certification), the national laboratory accrediting body, the legal metrology inspectorate and the national measurement institute.  Additionally, TTBS is also this country’s representative as the focal point for enquiries regarding the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement. The TTBS is now a quality institution that supports the entire National Quality Infrastructure.

To successfully engage new markets and business opportunities, and attract foreign investments, organisations are required to compete with international players. The targeted development and adoption of standards as well as the availability and use of measurement systems and conformity assessment services by the business community have been proven to enhance national competitiveness and directly support the nation’s manufacturers and exporters.  This has become increasingly evident as organisations and economies grapple with the new normal in finding appropriate socio-economic responses to reenergizing trade from the effects presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

As the Minister of Trade and Industry and a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, my desire is that citizens, private and corporate, adopt relevant standards in their routine and business practices.  The risks associated with the non-adoption of standards can result in inferior and even dangerous experiences. Local businesses and state entities which operate in an environment where there is the absence of standards will find it difficult to succeed in the global markets where meeting standards and technical regulations are basic requirements. TTBS is in the pivotal position to positively impact the future of the local economy as it has the potential to play an important role in supporting our local products – goods and services – to be accessible in foreign markets.

Today I acknowledge the valuable work of the past and current Boards of Directors, management, and committed staff members who have worked tirelessly and pioneered TTBS over the last 46 years. They have definitely provided a solid foundation for the exciting and at times, challenging road ahead towards economic recovery.

In keeping with the Anniversary theme, “Building a Better Country through Standards and Quality”, it is quite clear that the future points to an integrated national system where all processes of quality are embedded in the national infrastructure regardless of sector. I am extremely confident that TTBS will continue to be propelled by the energy and innovation of its people to advance, develop and enforce national standards to develop a standards conscious society that is globally competitive.

Happy 46th Anniversary!

Paula Gopee-Scoon
Minister of Trade and Industry