GIS – STANDARDS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY AND REDUCE WASTE, HE SAYS.
Commerce Minister Hon. Bradley Felix spoke recently on the observance of World Standards Day.
He said the 2017 theme, “Standards Makes Cities Smarter,” is a call to the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS) to expand its vision, to move beyond engaging one institution or one sector, and begin to pull the entire community of stakeholders and beneficiaries into the dialogue on the use of standards to improve life in all communities.
Since the implementation of the Standards Act in 1990, the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards has focused on the improvement of the quality of life, and the advancement of the economy of Saint Lucia through the promotion of standardization, metrology and conformity assessment activities. In a national address on Oct. 14, the commerce minister noted that the theme relates to the usefulness of standards in what is being consumed; access to innovations in technology; the preparation and integration of infrastructure to improve resilience to climate change while enhancing safety and security.
“The promises, possibilities and opportunities of smart cities are limited only by the extent of our imagination. It may therefore be expected that a future smart city will contain a series of highly innovative and intelligent technologies that will affect every single aspect of our lives, including housing, transportation, education, healthcare, energy use and efficiency and many more.
Maximizing the use and benefits of these innovations will require the strategic and deliberate adoption and application of international standards which should be used to guide policy decisions at the highest levels in society. What is important is that by the use of smart city indicators and best practices, we are able to promote liveable, sustainable and prosperous cities and communities and by extension countries. For us in Saint Lucia as a small island developing country, the theme is both a challenge and an opportunity.”
The commerce minister referred to the island’s limited landmass as one of the challenges, adding that the small population size makes it necessary to apply the principles of a smart city and use standards to create a country that can respond to challenges of a fast changing world in an integrated manner. Conversely, the minister opined that the effective use of standards have the potential to increase productivity, reduce waste, and increase customer satisfaction.
“In effect, the thorough and persistent application of standards will result in being able to do more with less, and that to me is the ultimate measure of being smart,” he said. “When we consider the welfare of citizens and how as a government we can deliver on our promises to make lives better, we must place emphasis on the interventions which can help us reach our destination. Trade is an essential element in that regard. The use of international standards in our production processes is one of the measures that must be used to increase exports of both goods and services and by so doing, create new jobs that can address employment and reduce poverty.” Minister Felix added that any discussion on the city and on standards and their use as a developmental strategy must recognize that both the city and the standards community have one ultimate goal, that is, the continuous improvement in the quality of life of the people of the country. He concluded that the standards infrastructure must encourage local innovation and industrial development, by partnering with the private sector and by helping young entrepreneurs avoid the old pattern of learning by error wherever possible.