Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Reginald Budhan, has encouraged local companies to implement quality management systems, to increase their competiveness.
He called for firms to take advantage of “what you have in your backyard”, and get certified through the National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ).
Addressing a World Quality Day Symposium at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on Thursday (November 11), Mr. Budhan said the government remained committed to quality management and was working to ensure that more companies get certified.
“We remain committed to providing support for the implementation of standards to enhance productivity and innovation,” he asserted.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Reginald Budhan (left), in discussion with International Consultant and Fellow of the Chartered Quality Institute based in the United Kingdom, Dr. Nigel Croft, during a World Quality Day Symposium, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on Thursday (November 11).
Citing the National Export Strategy (NES), a unified initiative to maximise the export sector’s direct contribution to economic and social development, Mr. Budhan said that low appreciation for quality and its importance to competitiveness make local firms unable to meet stringent international quality standards.
“It is for these reasons that we, in the Ministry, are now on a mission to change Jamaica’s quality culture, by creating greater awareness among our organisations – these include exporters, manufacturers, service providers – so that we can benefit by implementing quality management systems and achieving certification to international standards,” he said.
He noted that standards and conformance are key to helping to raise the country’s productivity levels, as they allow for greater efficiency, facilitate market access and lay the groundwork for innovation.
“Many of us are familiar with the ISO 9000 standards, which gives companies the assurance that they have implemented systems to ensure consistency in the quality of their products and services. Although compliance is not compulsory, it has become a requirement for companies in many parts of the world, across different industries,” he said,” he said.
Mr. Budhan said a more competitive Jamaica will not come about by chance, but through a comprehensive effort to ensure that the country is able to deliver world-class products and services.
The symposium was held in recognition of World Quality Day, by the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, in collaboration with the NCBJ and the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality.
World Quality Day was introduced by the United Nations in 1990 to increase worldwide awareness of the important contribution that quality makes towards a nation’s and an organisation’s growth and prosperity.
This year’s theme: ‘Out of the Crisis’ focused on what a fit organisation looks like, and the role that quality management professionals play in facilitating fitness.
The event also featured booths set up by the NCBJ, the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), and the National Export/Import (EXIM) Bank.