The African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Quality Infrastructure Programme and the pioneering  Regional Laboratory Policy launched in the Caribbean

Barbados, 10 October 2022 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) have launched the Caribbean component of the “Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Quality Infrastructure” Programme at the 41st Meeting of the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) Council.

The “ACP Quality Infrastructure (QI)” Programme, is a EUR 7 million Intra-ACP initiative funded by the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS). The Programme is implemented by UNIDO and is scheduled to run until December 2025. It complements and builds on the ongoing achievements of the overall “ACP Business-Friendly” Programme reinforcing UNIDO’s meso-level component.       

In his welcoming remarks, Kerrie D. Symmonds, Senior Minister, Ministry of Energy and Business of Barbados, commented “As we are celebrating the success of CROSQ in the last two decades, there is a need for us to recognize the necessity of this region to cement its integration and trade efforts.”

Sheldon Jackman, Project Manager, EU Delegation to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS, and CARICOM/CARIFORUM noted “A sound, internationally recognized quality and regulatory infrastructure is vital to enable market access and promote sustainable economic development as well as the environmental and social well-being.”

Escipión J. Oliveira Gómez, Assistant Secretary General, OACPS, reaffirmed the importance of the continuous partnership with the EU, the implementing agencies of the “ACP Business-Friendly” Programme, CROSQ and other collaborators. Gómez highlighted the importance of such initiatives as “quality is the cornerstone of competitiveness”.

“Together with CROSQ and its Members, the baseline analysis is being established and priority value chains are about to be selected for specific QI-related support in the Caribbean,” said Bernard Bau, Industrial Development Officer at UNIDO. “This Programme also envisages a strong south-south cooperation approach that will allow less advanced ACP regions or countries to learn from the experience of those who have gone through the same development challenges.”

Alongside the launch of this Programme, project partners also activated the pioneering Regional Non-Medical Laboratory Policy (RLP). The RLP aims to improve design, scoping and performance of non-medical laboratories in the CARICOM region. It draws from the UNIDO  Laboratory Policy: A guide to development and implementation guideline published in 2021 with the International Network on Quality Infrastructure (INetQI).

Deryck Omar, CEO of CROSQ, emphasized  the need for  Member States to adopt the RLP at the national level to ensure better harmonization between regional and national standards requirements. to help develop their trade laboratories. This will ensure compliance with a variety of standards in the region, overcome Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)-related obstacles and promote regional trade of products, goods and services.

Both launches are major milestones for UNIDO as it implements its motto, “Progress by innovation”.  These pioneering initiatives will help foster fair, transparent and sustainable industrial development through resilient value chains, sound investment promotion and renewed partnerships to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.

For more information on the “ACP Quality Infrastructure” Programme, read the flyer:

Watch the 41st Conference Meeting here:

For further information contact:

Bernard Bau

Industrial Development Officer,

Division of SME Competitiveness, Quality and Job Creation (TCS/SME)