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Contact: Adhara King 


Thursday, March 19, 2009 – Government officials have been emphasizing the increasing importance of maintaining standards in an era of widespread trade liberalisation.


In that regard, the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS) in collaboration with the Caribbean Export Development Agency and the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) held a workshop recently to discuss the importance of that development.


Trade Advisor in the Ministry of International Trade, Dr. Thomas Samuel said the rise in the number, scope, and configuration of international trade agreements has resulted in a corresponding increase in the complexity of the multilateral trade environment.


“Saint Lucia and CARICOM have likewise tried to respond strategically to that change. In this response to the changing landscape, the region has engaged in a number of theatres of trade agreements and negotiations strategically to strengthen our trade positions and to reduce the threat of marginalization in the global system,” said Samuel.


Samuel said the region is accomplishing this through the attainment of World Trade Organisation (WTO) compliance and increased market access opportunities, such as the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).


“Our success in translating those opportunities into tangible benefits will depend ultimately on the competitiveness of the goods and services that we offer, and that competitiveness will depend on the standards of the goods and services that we offer,” said Samuel.


The evolution of required standards over the years, Samuel said, is like a shifting goal post. However, he said the objective is to rise to meet these standards even though they appear to be moving targets.

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