(SKNIS): The Launch of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)/CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building Projects, held on Thursday morning at the Ocean Terrace Inn, has been described as a momentous occasion by the Minister of International Trade, Commerce and Consumers Affairs, the Honourable Lindsay Grant.
Minister Grant, who spoke to St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service after the launch, indicated that “the grant from the CSME Standby Facility of $257,040 USD will be used to enhance the work of the National Statistical System of St. Kitts and Nevis, while the $198,791 USD EPA Standby Facility Grant will help finance the government’s enhancement of the National Quality Infrastructure.”
Minister Grant explained that the National Statistical System of St. Kitts and Nevis is important to the development of every sector in the Federation. Giving credence to this point, the minister who also serves as minister of tourism, said that statistics are imperative to the decision making process.
He further indicated that, “the CSME Facility grant will facilitate the development of a Statistical Business Register and Statistics for International Trade in Services and Capital Flows database and application.”
According to a press release issued by the Ministry of International Trade, “The Register is a comprehensive list of all entities involved in the production and financing processes of the economy to facilitate and support the collection of statistical data, and the compilation and dissemination of statistical information. The Statistics for International Trade in Services and Capital Flows database and application will allow for training of the Department of Statistics to improve their use and analysis of Trade in Services data.”
The release further stated that, “The grant will also aid in the development of a quality management system that is compliant with ISO/IEC 17025 requirements within the metrology laboratory of the St. Kitts Bureau of Standards. Having this quality management system is critical to the pursuit of laboratory accreditation, and is the process used to demonstrate the ability to perform specific calibrations and tests. The staff of the St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards will be provided with the relevant technical training to improve quality management practices and increase compliance with ISO/IEC requirements.”
Minister Grant noted that the metrology laboratory has already been doing “some Fantastic work in ensuring that the nation is safe,” and that the grant will ensure that the Bureau operates optimally.