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Jamaicans Encouraged to Support National Quality Policy

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March 2018

Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF), Andrene Collings (centre), along with (from left) Director General, MICAF, Vivian Brown; Chief Executive Officer, Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation, Sharonmae Shirley; Quality Infrastructure Coordinator, Junior Gordon; ISO Ambassador, ISO Quality Systems Division, MICAF, Reginald Budhan; Coordinator, Strategic Public Sector Transformation Programme, Othneil Hemans; and Executive Director, Bureau of Standards Jamaica, Stephen Wedderburn, at the National Quality Policy Final Validation Workshop, held at the Terra Nova Hotel, Waterloo Road, on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The National Quality Policy 2017 articulates the Government’s position on the quality of goods and services produced and consumed in Jamaica.

Above Body

 07 Mar 2018    communications   

Director General in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Vivian Brown, has encouraged Jamaicans to support the Government’s National Quality Policy 2017, as it aims to increase the nation’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) and export earnings.

According to Mr. Brown, the new policy will help with quality upgrading of locally produced goods and services to internationally required standards, not only for local consumers but for the export market.

“Quality upgrading of our producers, large and small, not only improves our products and services to meet increasing demands of customer expectations but also enhances opportunities for expansion into new markets,” Mr. Brown said at a National Quality Policy Workshop held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew today (March 6), to analyse and discuss the policy with stakeholders.

The National Quality Policy 2017, now in its White Paper stage, articulates the Government’s position on the quality goods and services produced and consumed in Jamaica.

It supports the achievement of the National Development Goals as expressed in the National Development Plan – Vision 2030, by facilitating the production and export of quality goods and services, through the establishment and use of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI), to ensure compliance with global market requirements.

“The Government of Jamaica is committed to enhancing the development and maintenance of a modern and robust National Quality Infrastructure. We are committed to the development of our national quality capabilities and competencies and the provision of a competitive trading environment based on internationally accepted standards and principles,” Mr. Brown said.

“Equally, we are firmly committed to creating a quality environment that will encourage local consumers to demand high-quality products and services,” he added.

Mr. Brown said it is important for the Government to get support with formalising the framework of this new policy, especially from the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), as they account for the highest percentage of producers, manufacturers and service providers in Jamaica.

“Very importantly for the policy is the ability of our micro, small and medium- sized enterprises to comply with the correct standards and regulations applied in export markets as well as the domestic market,” he said.

“In all of this, there’s a pivotal role for the private sector in the development and the implementation of the quality policy as well as its participation in the development of our national quality infrastructure. If we are to achieve the maximum benefit from the National Quality Infrastructure, the private sector must be encouraged to avail itself of information and services being provided by the NQI,” Mr. Brown argued.

He said the Government will develop appropriate mechanisms to identify the standards and policy needs of the MSME sector, including establishing initiatives for national quality infrastructure support, which relates to the National Quality Policy (NQP).

The Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) will play a pivotal role in assisting Jamaican business operators to meet the standards outlined in the new NQP.

JANAAC is the national accreditation body of Jamaica that provides services to conformity assessment bodies (CABs), consisting of laboratory inspection bodies and certification bodies.

It is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries and is the only internationally recognised accreditation body in the English-speaking Caribbean. JANAAC was the title sponsor of the workshop.
Source: JIS

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