Developing A National Quality Infrastructure

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Although Barbados has attained the top spot among developing countries based on its number??47 ranking in the 2008/2009 Global Competitiveness Report, a regional consultant has warned that the island must "ramp up" its service delivery in order to stay competitive.

Consultant with HBS Consulting, Hermon Edmondson, made this call today, while addressing the Barbados National Standards Institution’s Quality Infrastructure workshop at the Savannah Hotel, Christ Church.

Noting that the island’s economy was in a transitional phase from being factor-driven, to a knowledge-based economy, he advised technocrats to be wary of the external threats that could impede future financial growth.

Mr. Edmondson said: "There are some threats, and given the current situation, one is not sure what is going to happen next. Nonetheless, most people are wondering what will be the true impact of the global economic crisis on Barbados.??

"Another area of concern is market access and this is important if Barbados is to achieve world class, competitor status. Most countries are unsure if they want to compete on the global market and this is a threat. So, we should get in the mode of taking on global competition, rather than saying that we are up against the best, [so] what can we do?"

To grapple with these risks, the official suggested the increased marketing of Barbados’ goods and services, an improvement in their delivery and the manufacture of high quality products, as measures to be adopted to cushion the economy, in light of the current financial crisis.

Despite the successes achieved in standards, Mr. Edmondson, however, outlined additional measures which could be adopted.??These included the cultivation of a perception of excellence; a clearly defined national quality policy; the provision of a national quality infrastructure to measure excellence and the development of a degree of excellence in the industrial sector and, by extension, the wider society.

The workshop continues tomorrow.

jwilson@barbados.gov.bb

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