JIS News

Minister of Industry, Investment, and Commerce, Karl Samuda, has emphasized that the National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ), has laid the foundation for the establishment of a level of credibility that will ensure and enhance the country’s competitiveness.
He also noted that the body would allow Jamaica to produce goods at a quality that would enable the country to compete within the domestic economy and internationally.
“The NCBJ is the certification of the systems element that goes into the determination of the credibility of the product that is sold to the consumer,” the Minister noted.
Mr. Samuda was speaking yesterday (July 24) at the Programme for Partnership Meeting: Upcoming International Accreditation at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston.
“For too long, we have been complacent in accepting mediocrity but our people are no longer willing to accept mediocre goods because we are exposed to products being imported from all parts of the world. What we must now do, is examine those technologies that can be introduced into the developmental process and the productive process of our own individuals and companies so that we can raise the standards, so that we can raise the quality of the goods we manufacture to meet the demands for the export trade, and also to satisfy our domestic consumers,” he urged.
He informed that the key players and stakeholders need to be guided, in an effort to ensure that technology is acquired, ultimately resulting in enhancing the output of the product to a level that can satisfy the standards that are being tested for.
Mr. Samuda added that “a lot of people and a lot of investors sometimes go off with the idea of acquiring new technology but it is inappropriate technology rather than appropriate technology for the needs of the local and international markets.”
He also pointed out that the selection of the technology has to be looked at very carefully and the extent to which its use will enhance the ability of the company to be eligible for certification.
“Jamaica has vast opportunities for the manufacturing process but no amount of standards that we set, no amount of introduced technology that we bring into the process will necessarily result in the output required. We can comply with standards, but not produce the product at such a cost that we are competitive,” he said, adding that there should be a marriage of given standards.
He added that “we must extend it beyond the actual technology into high level training of staff that goes into making the final product.”
The Minister noted that the establishment of the standards was only one phase that would make competition possible. “We must also deal with enhancing the quality of the workforce that contributes to the final product that is produced. As far as the opportunities that this offers is concerned, if we don’t meet standards, if we can’t stand and compete equally with the rest of the world with the goods that are produced then forget it. But the question is, produce for what market, how can you move from where you are to the international market place?”, adding that Jamaica has a golden opportunity to use the domestic market and the Caribbean as a training ground to launch the island into the international market place.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Standards Council of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), Rev. Dr. Artnel Henry pointed out that accreditation, certification, and quality are critical in the international arena, emphasising that the use of recognized standards makes businesses more efficient and cost effective.
According to a brief issued by the BSJ, the NCBJ has been established as the Certification Unit within the BSJ and that the certification of the management systems will be its core function. Upon attaining international accreditation as a competent certification body, the NCBJ will offer a variety of services, including but not limited to: certification of systems to International Organization for Standards (ISO) 9001: 2000 and ISO 14001: 2004. The NCBJ seeks to achieve institutional strengthening and promotion of the national quality infrastructure, and ensure that the Bureau’s competence in the certification of local companies, meet the requirements of rigorous international standards.