Bureau of Standards Jamaica to improve packaging centre and service to private sector through CARIFORUM-EU Facility

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The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has announced the signing of a grant agreement between the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and the CDB. The grant is valued at EUR213,820, and was approved under the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) - European Union (EU) CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building which is managed by the CDB. The grant will facilitate the implementation of the "Capacity Building for Market Access" project under which the BSJ will upgrade its Packaging Centre, and create websites to improve the delivery of business support services by the BSJ to its stakeholders. "The management of the CSME Standby Facility and the signing of this grant agreement are indicative of the CDB's commitment to leveraging resources and strategic multilateral partnerships to advance regional integration and demonstrate its benefits at the national level," said Edward Greene, Division Chief of the Technical Cooperation Division at the CDB. According to Yvonne Hall, Executive Director of the BSJ, the upgrade to the BSJ Packaging Centre will enable the BSJ to test packaging materials used in industry, verify packaging quality, and regulate and provide technical advisory services on packaging standards. "The modernisation of the Packaging Centre will enable the BSJ to provide quality testing and research services to meet the needs of its clients, and fulfil regulatory and international requirements," said Ms. Hall. "Once completed, the project will enable the BSJ to provide improved market access for Jamaican packaged goods. The BSJ will also be able to build on the recent accreditation of one of the critical food tests (can seam analysis) conducted by the Packaging Centre as we seek to enhance consumer confidence in the quality and safety of packaged goods." As a result of the project, the BSJ will be better able to impart critical information on standards, and to ensure that goods imported and exported meet international standards. The organisation will also be able to better defend local manufacturers against unfair trading practices and focus on marketing its packaging services not only within Jamaica, but to the wider CARICOM region as well. In discussing the development of the websites being developed under the project, Ms. Hall said that, "The websites form part of an initiative to upgrade the organization's information and communication infrastructure to improve the timeliness in the dissemination of information, and the processing of business transactions. They will significantly impact our promotional, marketing and educational efforts in the drive to foster a standards-led and market-driven economy."

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