EPA & CSME Standby Facility for Capacity Building
A EUR198,000 project to increase competitiveness by creating a culture of quality and improving the standards of goods and services produced in Trinidad and Tobago
The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) through the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS), with support from the European Union and Caribbean Development Bank, is implementing a EUR198,000 project to aid businesses and consumers in adopting a more focused approach to quality and standards adoption and enable a shift to a quality culture in industry. The Building a Quality Culture in Trinidad and Tobago – Implementation of the National Quality Policy Project will address challenges and gaps in awareness by consumers, the private sector, public agencies and civil society related to standards and quality and its importance in building business competitiveness and creating economic and employment opportunities. Firms which comply with global standards which are promoted by the TTBS have easier entry into markets and therefore the potential to earn more. The focus on quality will inadvertently lead to increased standards of commodities and processes used in production and the entrenching of quality related actions throughout the economy. Once businesses conform to the international standards there will be greater access to markets and increased opportunity economically and otherwise.
The project supports Trinidad and Tobago’s National Quality Policy (NQP), which is being implemented by the MTI and the TTBS. The NQP is intended to contribute to higher levels of productivity, innovation, competitiveness and consumer health and environmental protection, over the next twelve (12) years.
This project focuses on three sectors namely – (i) food and beverage manufacturing, (ii) business and professional and ICT services and (iii) agriculture and agro-processing. During implementation, a public awareness and sensitisation programme, a quality intelligence programme and a continuous learning and improvement programme will be developed and implemented.
Successful implementation will allow for greater focus on quality, which will inevitably lead to an increase in the quality of goods, services, processes and practices used in production. It will also serve to systematically entrench quality related actions throughout the economy. Once organisations conform to international standards and other quality related practices there will be greater access to markets and increased economic opportunities.
This project, which commenced in September 2021, will provide a wide range of improvements including:
- Ensuring that more businesses particularly Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) are capable of competing on the regional and international markets due to increased productivity and the satisfaction of requirements for trade. This includes awareness of the importance of incorporating standards and quality processes in their operations for improving products and service delivery.
- Facilitating innovation and product development through the application of knowledge.
- Boosting domestic commercial activity and enhancing consumer protection.
- Reducing the cost of trade.
- Positive behaviour change towards building a quality culture
- Creating consumers with a deeper understanding of quality concepts and appreciation for the importance of quality in their daily lives.
- Providing access to safer and higher quality goods and services to consumers.
- Better positioning businesses to compete with international goods and services on the local market.
- Increasing awareness of and the benefits of quality consciousness.
- Increasing the availability of information on quality principles and practices, the quality infrastructure and their application to sectors and activities of national importance thereby promoting a demand driven approach to development and investment.
- Increasing awareness of the services offered by the National Quality Council, MTI and the TTBS, and the provision of information on how to access these services.
Throughout implementation project stakeholders listed will be continuously engaged namely:
- Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA)
- Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI)
- Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce (TTCIC)
- Ministry of Trade and Industry
- Tobago House of Assembly
- Youth Government of Trinidad and Tobago
- CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ)
- Ministry of Health
- Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
- Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)
- Agriculture Society of Trinidad and Tobago
- National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (NAMDEVCO)
- Supermarkets Association of Trinidad And Tobago
- Las Lomas No.1 Farmers Association
- Rio Claro Farmers Co-Operative
- The Cropper Foundation
- Tobago Agribusiness Development Company Limited
- Poultry Association of Trinidad & Tobago (PATT)
- Trinidad and Tobago Beekeepers’ Association
- Trinidad and Tobago Goat and Sheep Society
- Environmental Management Authority (EMA)
- Trinidad and Tobago Greenhouse Operators Association
- The University of the West Indies
- Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI)
- Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI)
The project was approved for implementation by the EPA and CSME Standby Facility Steering Committee in 2021. The EPA and CSME Standby Facility (also known as the CARIFORUM-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building) is a EUR 8.75 million programme financed by the European Development Fund (EDF) being managed by CDB to support projects in Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago (CARIFORUM). It is intended to build capacity in the region and better position businesses to trade within CARIFORUM and the European Union.
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For further information, please contact:
Cassie Ann James