10 March 2005
|Antigua still uses the imperial system of weights and measures.|
The Draft Action Plan was recently handed to Senator Lenworth Johnson, Parliamentary Secretary at Antigua's Ministry of Finance and Economy, by Dr Timothy Williams, Deputy Director in the Special Advisory Services Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat. The plan proposes the establishment of a metrication advisory board to help plan, guide and facilitate the change. This would be followed by an extensive public education campaign to inform stakeholders of the change.
Dr Williams said: "The current use of the imperial system of measurement increases the cost of doing business and impedes the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) engaged in external trade. The Action Plan will facilitate the process of conversion to the metric system, and ensure compliance with international trade standards and improve the competitiveness of exports by SMEs because goods sold and traded in most countries today are conducted in the metric system."
Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues, Director of Antigua and Barbuda's Bureau of Standards, said it is important for her country to conform to international standards set by the World Trade Organisation, and especially with the move towards the development of a Caribbean Single Market.
By 1 January 2010, new European Union regulations that come into force will require that the metric system for the measurement of mass, length and volume be used in the import and export of goods. The EU is a major market for Antigua and Barbuda's exports.
CNIS - the Commonwealth News and Information Service Issue 225 9 March 2005