Standards Council Urged to Work to Boost Competitiveness of Local Products and Services


Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, has charged members of the new Standards Council of the Bureau of Standards, to work to boost the level of competitiveness of Jamaican products and services, to increase the country’s competitiveness in the international workplace.
He said that the days of creating products that are just acceptable are long gone. “We must be very competitive; we must establish standards that are commensurate with the level of respect that the name Jamaica has meant to the world,” the Minister stated during a familiarization tour of the Bureau’s Winchester Road offices on (Jan. 15).
According to Mr. Samuda, “it is through the Council that we are going to be able to establish levels of competitiveness that will put us in good stead internationally, without which we will not be able to reduce our growing trade deficit, which has reached alarming proportions.”
He also urged the newly composed Council to lead the government’s mission in rebranding Jamaica so that the country’s name can again be recognized for high standards.
“We are in the process of establishing Brand Jamaica, which is not simply a question of having good products made and good services delivered in Jamaica, but rather it is the branding of the entire nation, so that the word ‘Jamaica’ is commensurate with the highest qualities that would help to push the process of trade internationally,” he emphasised.
While noting the challenges that face the agency, Mr. Samuda expressed confidence that it will obtain productivity and viability under the leadership of chairman, Dr. Artnel Henry, and that Jamaica will return to its pace-setting ways in the establishment of international standards.
“I think the future is very bright. We have our challenges. but I have no doubt at all that working together, we can overcome them. It’s going to be dependent on your levels of commitment and the extent to which you preside over the financial affairs of this Council that will put you in a position to restore the facilities to the levels that I am sure we have all hoped for over these many years,” he stated.
Dr. Henry thanked the Minister for the confidence placed in the team and gave the commitment that the necessary changes will be visible in the future.
The touring party, which included State Minister, Michael Stern, got a first hand view of the Bureau’s laboratories and testing facilities.
In addition to the Chairman, the new Standards Council includes Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Jeanne Dixon, who will serve as Vice Chairman; Dr. Marjorie Vassell; Nicola Barbar; Joyce Campbell; Noel Osbourne; Keith Reynolds; Joan Paris Woodstock; James Rawle; Lascelles Chin; Omar Azan; Trevor DeLeon; and Executive Director, Dr. Camella Rhone.

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