GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Infrastructure at the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) will be upgraded to allow for increased testing and certification for international exports. This will ensure that products leaving Guyana meet local and international standards.
The project will entail a new laboratory being constructed, as well as upgrades to several existing ones. In addition, the project will see the development of a National Export Promotion Strategy and a complementary National Investment Promotion Strategy. The project will be funded through a US$9M loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). This was disclosed by Minister of Business with responsibility for Tourism, Dominic Gaskin.
Minister Gaskin said “this project will place Guyana’s economy on a sustainable development pathway by supporting the value-added exporting industries in a serious way.”
The Ministry of Business will work with the Bureau in developing the kinds of industries that Guyana needs, if it is to become a more diversified exporter.
“Industry standards exist for almost everything under the sun, and are demanded on the international market. It therefore follows that we in Guyana need to adopt these standards if we wish to do business with the rest of the world,” Minister Gaskin told the National Assembly during his budget 2017 presentation.
The Business Minister pointed out that without credible certification processes based on analysis and reports from accredited testing facilities, Guyanese businesses will not be able to provide the assurance required to access international supply chains for their products and services.
Meanwhile, the GNBS will continue to advance the use of standards by businesses across Guyana during the coming year. This will see the Bureau marketing its services in all 10 Administrative Regions, focusing on increasing awareness of the benefits of standardisation, and also on boosting its clientele.
Minister Gaskin said that the GNBS will be focussing on the agriculture, agro-processing, energy, mining and services sector of the economy in 2017. He further explained that this will require a number of visits and consultation sessions to promote the services of the Bureau.
Additionally, in 2017, the Bureau will begin the process of replacing its aging fleet of passenger vehicles since all but one of its vehicles are more than 10 years old.
The Business Minister noted that the Bureau has doubled its budget for training and education in 2017 compared to 2016, in recognition of the need to maintain staff competence.
Critical training will be identified and facilitated. The training, Minister Gaskin explained, is to upgrade skills of officers who will be able to extend the Bureau’s services to the emerging sectors of the economy such as oil and gas, and renewable energy.
The GNBS was established in March 1984 under the Act No. 11 of Parliament of the same year. The Bureau has the legal status of a statutory corporation or a semi -autonomous agency. It is governed by a National Standards Council, whose members are appointed by the subject Minister.
Its vision is to improve the quality of goods and services in Guyana, by partnering with Government, consumers and industry through the process of standardisation, while its mission is to promote the National Quality Infrastructure for economic, social development and consumer protection in partnership with key sectors through Standards, Metrology and Conformity Assessment.
Some of the objectives of the Bureau are to: promote standardisation in industry and commerce, encourage or undertake educational work in connection with standardisation, establish, form, furnish and maintain information systems and laboratories for the purpose of furthering the practice of standardisation, provide for the testing, at the request of the Minister and on behalf of the Government, of locally manufactured and imported commodities with the view of determining whether such commodities comply with the provision of the Standards Act or any other law dealing with standards and quality among others.
By: Gabreila Patram