APO's 57th Workshop Meeting (WSM) of Heads of National Productivity Organizations (NPOs) held
(October 19 to 21, 2016)
Dr. Santhi Kanoktanaporn, the new APO Secretary-General
The Asia Productivity Organization (APO) held the 57th Workshop Meeting (WSM) of the Heads of National Productivity Organizations (NPOs) in Putrajaya, Malaysia from 19 to 21 October, 2016.
At the opening, Azman Hashim, APO Director for the host country Malaysia and Chairman of the Ambank Group, welcomed the new APO Secretary-General Santhi Kanoktanaporn (former Executive Director of Thailand Productivity Institute), appointed last month as the first person to be elected from member countries except Japan. He commented, "I wish more success coming to the APO under his leadership such as new, innovative revenue-generating programs, continuous effort in scouting for new member economies, engaging and collaborating more with other regional productivity bodies, and finally making the APO the leading international organization for productivity enhancement in the Asia-Pacific."
"The Malaysian Government is urging Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) to accelerate the move to make both public and private sectors in Malaysia more efficient and competitive in a bid to achieve the goal of making Malaysia a high-income economy by 2020. In this regard, the MPC will continue to enhance the cooperation internationally and regionally with the APO" stated the director.
Malaysia's Second Minister of International Trade and Industry Ong Ka Chuan delivered the message as a guest. "Productivity has been identified as a crucial game-changer in the 21st century economy. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, even in its current early stages, is already beginning to alter the way we work, live, and interact with each other." Hopeful about the APO's future, he continued, "As the leading mover of productivity in respective countries, NPOs have the universal task of raising productivity levels so that each economy can attain/maintain a higher level of competitiveness. I hope this gathering provides an opportunity for all NPOs to take stock of where we are in terms of our achievements."
After the minister's speech, the secretary-General commented, "Member countries are on the verge of drastic change. In such situation, we understand that we need to change the APO roadmap constantly to accommodate the needs of those countries. To this end, we will move forward looking for the future in order to listen to the voice of each country and establish the leadership role in productivity. In particular, to keep up with the digital society of the 21st century, the APO will develop new projects for emerging trends such as the Internet of Things and smart initiatives for industry, agriculture, and services. We will strengthen our role as a think tank that conducts study to reflect the emerging needs of member countries," he said looking into the future. (Photo)
The Japan Productivity Center (JPC) President Masayoshi Matsukawa, who attended the meeting as the delegate of Japan, introduced some of the JPC initiatives. He explained JPC is vigorously conducting study on productivity such as the conditions when IT investment leads to productivity improvement and the effect of productivity enhancement on employment and wages. He also stated that JPC will push forward the mechanism contributing to the improvement of productivity in the service industry, which supports 70% of Japan's GDP and employment, as a focus area by taking advantage of the framework such as the 1st Nihon Service Award that started this year.
The meeting requested each member to provide continuous support and cooperation for the establishment of NPOs in Myanmar as a new member economy as well as development of productivity activity in Africa.