Barbados’ ability to grow the economy is dependent on its ability to instil high quality standards across the board.
That was the assessment of Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Business Development, Sandra Husbands, who was speaking in Parliament on Monday.
During the fourth day of the Estimates Debates 2023, Husbands said that in doing so, Barbados would be able to build out its trade and penetrate international markets that right now have been beyond its scope.
“Right now markets that are difficult to penetrate are the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) because we may not have the standards they require in regard to products we want to offer,” Husbands said.
“More and more countries are going to be insisting that how you do your business will determine whether or not you can enter their markets, whether you have to pay duties. Therefore it is absolutely crucial and urgent that the work of the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) is able to take off and penetrate right through our economic system.”
BNSI Director Hayden Rhynd believes that a well defined quality infrastructure will grow the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by US $1 billion, based on the findings from internal studies.
Rhynd announced that the institution had successfully developed a National Quality Policy which had brought quality and international standards to the discussion table for all business sectors and every segment of society.
“We are now in a position to address the No-Communicable Diseases and childhood obesity which continue to be priorities for us with respect to health and economic cost issues associated with treatments. This approach will be done through simple warning labels that will be easy for even a child to tell if something is for example high in salt or sugar,” he explained.
In his opinion, the programme, which is expected to roll out later in the financial year, will provide the public with the knowledge so that they will be able to make the choice of healthy foods.
Minister of Energy and Business Development, Lisa Cummins, said that now was the time for Barbados to figure out the areas in which it is compliant and which is not as it relates to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in order to make sure the country doesn’t fall behind economically. (JC)