Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 10, 2022 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis remains committed to providing quality goods and services through the National Quality Policy that is being developed to improve the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) for the twin-island Federation.
The National Quality Policy is the basic government instrument that sets out the objectives of the Quality Infrastructure in relation to Metrology, Standardization, Accreditation and Conformity Assessment to build the foundation for effective trade.
“When we began this project in April 2021, we were in fact indicating to the public, to our existing trading partners and to the rest of the world that St. Kitts and Nevis, like every other country, is serious about ensuring that we present to the people of our country top quality goods and services, those that we export and import,” said to the Honourable Senator Wendy Phipps, Minister of International Trade, Industry, Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Labour, during her appearance on the February 09 edition of Working for You. “We are making sure that what we take from other jurisdictions who are our trading partners, are also of an equally high standard.”
Senator Phipps noted that developing a Quality Infrastructure for St. Kitts and Nevis is extremely important as it looks at how we conduct ourselves “in terms of business and production…”
“Basically, when we look at Quality Infrastructure, therefore, we are looking at the necessary inputs in terms of economic growth. We want to have lower prices; we also want to have consumer protection and consumer empowerment too, because it’s their money and they have the right to use their earnings to purchase goods and services at a high standard so that they can remain healthy and safe,” said Minister Phipps.
“At the same time, it has an overarching objective in terms of improving our national competitiveness because obviously, we are competing not just with the region but the rest of the world in terms of goods and services. And, competitiveness or course, which drives anything is based on price, timing, placement in the market and the quality packaging, a whole host of issues that go into what we call national competitiveness, the Senator added.”
Minister Phipps stated that the NQI requires an all of society approach.
“This Quality Infrastructure cannot happen and cannot be a success with the government doing it alone. It has to be the government, private sector, consumers who set the standards for the type of quality of goods and services they demand and are willing to pay for,” she said. “This document is now ready and, of course, it works in tandem with the legislative infrastructure in the country.”
In November 2021, the Standards and Quality Act was passed. It serves as a fundamental tool to improve the domestic standard and commodities in preparation for export to international markets. It will replace the 1999 Standards Act.