Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards accredited by Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

From Left, Jamaican High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago Arthur Williams, Senator Aubyn Hill, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce of Jamaica Lawford Dupres, Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon, exeutive director of TTBS Jose’ Edwardo Trejo, and executive director of TTBS, and manager Certification Division, Rodney Ramnath, Manager Certification Division TTBS takes a photo at the JAMPRO trade mission, Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, on Thursday. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

The TT Bureau of Standards (TTBS) has received an accreditation certificate from the Jamaican National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) and Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Aubyn Hill.

The award ceremony was held on Thursday at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain.

It was part of the reciprocal Jamaica to TT trade mission. Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon led a mission to Jamaica last November.

The TTBS falls under the Ministry of Trade and Industry,

Accompanying Hill are over 30 business executives and senior government officials.

Sharonmae Shirley, CEO of JANAAC, said, “TTBS now joins a prestigious group of certification bodies worldwide validated as competent providers of auditing and certification services of management systems.”

She said the TTBS is the first to have this accreditation, and noted that Jamaica was internationally recognised for inspection by the accreditation services.

The TTBS certification division will include economic sectors such as concrete, cement, lime plaster, engineering services, mining and quarrying, wholesale and retail trade, repair of vehicles and motorcycles and personal household goods, pulp, paper and paper products and printing companies.

Shirley said, “The accreditation of these divisions at the TTBS supports your ministry’s plans and priorities in expanding market access and deepening trade with targeted countries and markets of interest.”

Executive director of TTBS Jose Trejo said the accreditation meets international standards that provide requirement for implementing and maintaining a quality management system.

He said, “This standard provides a framework for organisations to manage and improve the quality of their products and services. It is designed to help organisations ensure that their products and services consistently meet customer requirements, and that their processes are efficient and effective.”

Gopee-Scoon added Jamaica is TT’s third largest trading partner, and the two countries tradedjust over $1.2 billion worth of products with each other last year. She said TT imported flour, grape wine and condensed milk, and exported non-alcoholic beverages, chocolates and other light manufacturing products such as copper conductor products.

“In addition to the trade missions, the government is seeking to strengthen its trade promotion efforts by establishing commercial officers and attachés in key partner countries, which include Jamaica. The process establishing these offices and attachés has commenced.”

She also said, “Government is also seeking to strengthen its institutional arrangements surrounding trade and investment promotion by establishing a new trade and investment promotion agency. This agency will allow us to improve our relationship with our trading partners, including Jamaica, and provide information on the advantages of doing business with TT.”

In his speech, Hill said Jamaica went through hardships from 2012-2015, but added, “Jamaica has grown in the last year. In 2021, our GDP grew by 8.1 per cent. Up to September last year, the second quarter of the fiscal year, we grew by 5.7 per cent. Our unemployment is at a historical low at six per cent…

“When you are in emerging markets and your unemployment rate is at six per cent, you are near to full employment.

“So we have a great service business, as I told you, but 70 per cent of our economy is based in service.”

Also present were Arthur Williams. Jamaican high commissioner to TT; Lawford Dupres, chaiman of the TTBS; Gerard Maxwell, head of the implementation division at the TTBS; and Rodney Ramnath, manager of the certification division at the TTBS.