Quality Infrastructure (QI) has been identified as one of the priorities of the Pacific Aid-for-Trade Strategy 2020-2025 due to its significance to promoting and sustaining trade development. As highlighted by the international development community, QI can also play an important role in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and support post-COVID recovery.
What is QI?
All services provided by public or private organisations and relevant legal and regulatory frameworks and practices related to metrology (the science of measurement), standardisation, accreditation, and conformity assessment (testing, certification, inspection) which are relevant for assuring the quality, safety, and environmental soundness of products and services both for domestic consumers and export markets.
The PQI Initiative & project
PIFS initiated the PQI Initiative in 2017 by reaching out to regional and international development and technical partners, and donor agencies. A regional workshop was held in Nadi, Fiji in September 2019 to educate Forum Island Countries about the significance of QI and to discuss the way forward. PIFS with support by partner agencies then prepared a conceptual framework document (PQI concept note) for the next phase of the initiative which was endorsed at the February 2020 Forum Trade Minister Meeting.
The PQI project started in October 2020 with funding provided by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), DFAT and the EU, and technical assistance by Germany through PTB, the National Metrology Institute of Germany.
The PQI project aims to strengthen a demand-oriented QI and access to services that enhance trade competitiveness in the Pacific region. The project is achieving this by
(a) establishing regional QI frameworks for standardisation, metrology, conformity assessment, and quality promotion, and by
(b) identifying quality challenges in selected value chains in key export sectors which shall be addressed through targeted project measures at national and regional level.
The overall objective is to generate change towards higher quality products and processes making products safer and more competitive on domestic and international markets.
For more information contact:
Dr Ulrich Diekmann