By Betty Vedrine
The Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality (BBSQ)officially launched its Mobile Metrology Laboratory project via a hybrid virtual ceremony on Wednesday, 12th January, 2022. It is part of the government’s agenda to enhance the country’s National Quality infrastructure.
The two-year project will increase the services provided to the private sector by the Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality (BBSQ). Once capacity is enhanced at the BBSQ, it will also assist with increased competitiveness by the private sector. The project is being supported by the EPA and CSME Standby Facility for Capacity Building managed at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and financed by the European Union (EU).
The project will assist BBSQ in its mandate to expand The Bahamas’ quality-based infrastructure and business environment to support commercial enterprises in producing superior, reliable, safe, and sustainable commodities of high quality for the marketplace. Minister of Economic Affairs, Hon. Michael Halkitis, attended the ceremony. Expressing his gratitude to the European Union and the Caribbean Development bank for this partnership with The Bahamas, Mr. Halkitis said that the initiative will go a long way to enhance the country’s ability to meet first world standards in trade.
“The government deeply appreciates the efforts of the BBSQ, spearheaded by Dr. Ferguson-Bufford and her team, for the work they have done in seeking grants such as this one to improve the country in the trade sector,” he said. “This initiative will facilitate several steps including the procurement of a consultancy firm, providing infrastructure for the necessary framework, provisions for a public awareness campaign and provide the necessary training for qualified metrologists.”
Director of the Bureau, Dr. Renae Ferguson-Bufford said that the launch marked a major achievement for the country: “Since 2016, the BBSQ has been on a mission to enhance international trade and drive competitiveness of trade in the country. Whether we drive a car, catch a flight, use gasoline or even use an iron, we are all affected by metrology. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that we utilize it
accurately,” she said.
Representing the CDB, was Daniel Best, who said that the new facility will not only improve standards in the Bahamas, but also the region. “I wish to congratulate The Bahamas in launching this initiative.
I also wish to thank the EU for funding the project. This project will provide the necessary equipment, capacity support, and institutional strengthening required to further enhance the BBSQ’s ability to expand its platform. It will also positively impact the manufacturing industry, thereby, strengthening the local economy.”
Speaking on behalf of the European Union was Ambassador Marianne Van Steen, who said that the initiative will minimize barriers to trade.
“This much-needed intervention will ensure fairness in trade and will enhance economic activity,”she said.
“The EU is pleased to support Caribbean member states in their quest to minimize impediments in providing outstanding products and services.”
The future outlook is that the BBSQ will be able to improve the current business environment and contribute to a more resilient Bahamas as the agency would be able to provide calibration and testing services, which meet internationally accepted and recognized ISO 17025 requirements in mass and volume.
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