Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM and the Delegation’s Head of Cooperation David Mogollon, recently visited the Saint Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards metrology lab for a first-hand look at the benefits of upgrades and capacity building supported by financial assistance from the EU.
During the March 23rd visit, the Delegation met with Mr. Stuart LaPlace, Director of the Bureau, and Mr. I-Ronn Audain, Head of the Metrology Lab. Their discussions focused on lab enhancements and capacity building facilitated through two projects supported by funds provided by the EU under the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building, which is managed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The first project, “Strengthening of the Regional Quality Infrastructure in Barbados, Dominica, and Saint Kitts & Nevis”, is implemented by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), while implementation of the second project, Strengthening the National Quality Infrastructure: Training and Equipment for Conformity Assessment”, is led by the SKNBS.
The Delegation also participated in a brief tour of the lab, which included a short demonstration of the use and advantages of the equipment acquired through both initiatives. Activities under the “Strengthening of the Regional Quality Infrastructure in Barbados, Dominica, and Saint Kitts & Nevis” project have led to the procurement of the equipment and training of specialists in the metrology laboratory, and the commissioning of the laboratory on September 26, 2022. The project also aided in the development of a National Quality Policy for the Federation, which will be implemented over the next few years. Through the “Strengthening the National Quality Infrastructure: Training and Equipment for Conformity Assessment” project, new metrology equipment and staff skills development will accelerate support to agro-processors, enabling them to fulfill quality requirements for international export and enhance food production.
Expected results of both projects include improved services in the private sector, including agro-producers and manufacturers, that will drive competitiveness, economic growth, job creation as well as consumer confidence by guaranteeing products meet requirements for local and foreign markets.
“The SKNBS is grateful for the support and partnership of the EU through these two projects. As a result, we are now better equipped and skilled to meet the needs of businesses across Saint Kitts and Nevis. The upgrades are already in use and are proving to be beneficial to the bureau and by extension, those sectors that require our metrological services to fulfill quality assurance standards including supermarkets, the local airports and brewery,” explained Mr. LaPlace.
“The European Union is pleased to collaborate with the SKNBS, CDB and CROSQ to establish a well-functioning quality infrastructure that will provide sustainable benefits for the people and businesses of Saint Kitts and Nevis. We expect that it will open doors for producers to expand exports to regional and international markets, and particularly the EU which has over 500 million consumers,” expressed Ambassador Wasilewska.
More information about both Standby Facility projects is available here.