As Barbados joins with the rest of the globe to commemorate World Standards Day on Monday, October 14, Small Business Minister Dwight Sutherland is readily endorsing the significance of its theme: Video standards create a global stage.
In a message to mark the Day, the Minister, who is also responsible for Entrepreneurship and Commerce, stressed the timeliness of the theme against the backdrop of Government’s present emphasis on the importance of being a technologically ‘smart’ nation and how this would improve the lives of citizens.
Each year on this date, members of the International Electrotechnical Commission(IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), pay tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements published as International Standards.
Similarly, the Government of Barbados and the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI), as a member of the ISO, celebrate the day by recognizing the important role standards play in the development of our quality infrastructure and, indeed, our economy.
Reflecting that only this month, from October 1 to 4, a SMART initiative, led by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and delivered through the efforts of the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology took place at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Minister Sutherland noted that the week, themed: A Digital Encounter, centred on implementation strategies to build the national consensus necessary for such an all-encompassing transformation effort.
And, he remarked: “It is not difficult to recognize that advances in video technology have changed the way the views of people are expressed in Barbados and indeed around the world. Video imaging has completely changed the entertainment industry and advanced video technology has provided immediate and improved connections between friends and families, regardless of where they are in the world, and has supported the medical and educational sectors in a significant way.”
The Minister also stressed his conviction that the solution to Barbados’ economic problems lie in part in enhancing industrial and export activity. “This is only possible if the quality of Barbados’ goods and services is improved to meet international standards and remain cost competitive in the national and export markets,” he added.
And, it was further pointed out that the Ministry of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, through efforts by the BNSI, had started the process of developing a National Quality Policy for Barbados, which is expected to facilitate the country’s access to the global market while enhancing the competitiveness of its goods and services.
Elaborating, Mr. Sutherland stressed: “This Quality Policy is expected to be based on the development of the current international trends, the local situation and the benefits from re-engineering the National Quality Infrastructure and the technical regulations regime. The policy is also anticipated to encourage the media to become more involved in the dissemination of information relative to standardization, metrology, testing, certification, accreditation, quality and improvement of productivity especially as they relate to exports.”
Not leaving out the island’s youth, the Small Business Minister urged young Barbadian entrepreneurs who are innovators, IT and video savvy, “to expand their knowledge and investment in new video applications as we help to grow our markets”.