History

  • 1950s
  • 1960s
  • 1970s
  • 1980s
  • 1990s
  • 2000s
  • 2010s

  • 1959

    The 1st Asian Round Table Productivity Conference is held in Tokyo, Japan. An interim committee is assigned to draft a convention for the formation of an Asian productivity body.In 1960, the 2nd Asian Round Table Productivity Conference is held in Manila, the Philippines. The draft convention is adopted as the charter of the Asian Productivity Organization.
  • 1961

    The APO is formally established with eight founding members: the Republic of China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, and Thailand.The inaugural session of the APO Governing Body is held in Tokyo and the first Secretary-General is appointed.Technical Expert Services (TES) are started and the monthly newsletter Asian Productivity is launched.
  • 1963

    The first Symposium on Top Management is held.Symposia and seminars are introduced.A study mission is sent outside Asia to the USA, UK, and Denmark.Hong Kong joins the APO.
  • 1964

    A reciprocal relationship agreement is signed with the International Labour Organization.The Ford Foundation provides a grant for a Small Business Management Trainers’ and Consultants’ course.
  • 1965

    The Republic of Vietnam and Iran join the APO.The quarterly Productivity Digest starts publication.
  • 1966

    Ceylon (later Sri Lanka) joins the APO.The Agriculture Program starts.
  • 1967

    The Government of Japan grants the APO official status as an international organization.A meeting is held in Hong Kong on the APO’s 1st Five-Year Plan.
  • 1968

    Indonesia joins the APO.
  • 1969

    Singapore joins the APO.The 1st Five-Year Plan comes into effect.A regional Information Unit is established in Manila.
  • 1970

    The 1st Asian Productivity Congress is held in Tokyo, and the Declaration on Productivity for the Asian Region is adopted.The APO’s 10th anniversary is celebrated by declaring 1970 Asian Productivity Year.
  • 1972

    The ADB and USAID offer financial grants to the APO.The 1st Expert Meeting on Productivity Measurement is organized to examine the relationship between total factor productivity and economic development.
  • 1974


    The Research and Planning Program starts operations.
  • 1975

    The 17th GBM adopts the institutional capacity building of NPOs and focus on enterprise-level productivity as policies.
  • 1976

    S.D. Ashanta of Nepal wins the APO’s flag design contest.The importance of technology for economic development is recognized. Non-ESCAP members’ participation in APO projects is welcomed under a special fund from the Government of Japan.
  • 1980

    2nd Asian Productivity Congress is held in Hong Kong to mark the APO’s 20th anniversary.For the first time, APO Award was conferred to nine individuals.
  • 1982

    Bangladesh joins the APO.
  • 1983

    Malaysia joins the APO.
  • 1984

    Fiji joins the APO.
  • 1985

    The APO Awards are renamed the APO Regional Awards, and the APO National Awards are introduced.The first Top Management Forum was implemented in Japan.

  • 1986

    The APO’s 25th anniversary is marked with an International Productivity Congress in Kuala Lumpur.
  • 1988

    1st Strategic Planning Committee meeting is hosted by the Secretariat.
  • 1989

    Basic Research V on Human Resources Development in the 1990s is started.Five individuals receive the APO National Award and two the Regional Award.
  • 1990

    APO projects are reclassified.The State of Western Australia, given observer status in 1989, hosts the Symposium on Tripartism in Perth for APO members.
  • 1991

    The APO’s 30th anniversary is marked with an International Productivity Congress in Bangkok, where the Bangkok Declaration on Productivity for a Better Quality of Work Life is adopted.
  • 1992

    Mongolia joins the APO.
  • 1993

    Cleaner production becomes a focus. The Productivity Journal begins publication.
  • 1994

    The Special Program for the Environment is launched, and the concept of Green Productivity developed.
  • 1995

    The South-South Cooperation for Supporting Industry Assistance Program is launched.
  • 1996

    Vietnam joins the APO.The Integrated Community Development approach is initiated.The World Conference on Green Productivity is held in Manila.
  • 1997

    The APO signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Industry and Environment Programme Activity Center.
  • 1998

    Links are established with the Asian Pacific Round Table on Cleaner Production, UNEP, US-Asia Environment Partnership, and Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft.
  • 1999

    Two new thrust areas are designated: Development of SMEs and Integrated Community Development. IT activities are enhanced.
  • 2000

    The first external evaluation of APO projects is conducted by independent expertsA bimonthly Japanese edition of the APO News is publishedThe Secretariat moves from Aoyama to Hirakawa-cho.
  • 2001

    The APO’s 40th anniversary is marked with the First International Conference on Productivity in the e-Age in New Delhi, along with the International Forum for SMEs.
  • 2002

    Lao PDR joins the APO.2nd World Conference on Green Productivity is held in Manila.
  • 2003

    First APO web-based videoconferencing project on TQM is organized.
  • 2004

    Cambodia joins the APO.Kuala Lumpur hosts the 1st Eco-products International Fair organized by the APO and others.The One Village, One Product movement becomes part of the Agriculture Program.
  • 2005

    Bangkok hosts the 2nd EPIF.The APO Regional Award is conferred on four individuals and the APO National Award on ten.
  • 2006

    After a productivity conference in Sandton, South Africa, cooperation with the Pan African Productivity Association takes off.Singapore hosts the 3rd EPIF.
  • 2007

    An International Productivity Conference in Bangkok focuses on knowledge management.
  • 2008

    The EPIF in Hanoi attracts nearly 100,000 visitors.An Observational Study Mission to Switzerland on Quality and Innovation is implemented with JETRO supportThe first self-e-learning course on the Balanced Scorecard launched.
  • 2009

    Manila hosts the 5th EPIF.Singapore is appointed as the COE on BE, the first APO COE.The APO participates in the Conference on the Global Economic Crisis in Tainan, Republic of China.

  • 2010

    Jakarta hosts the 6th EPIF.New Secretary-General Ryuichiro Yamazaki is appointed, replacing outgoing Secretary-General Shigeo Takenaka.A study mission to Germany on GLOBALGAP is organized by the APO.

  • 2011

    New Delhi hosts the 7th EPIF.To mark its golden jubilee, the APO adopts new mission, vision, and thrust areas for 2020.The APO Regional Award is conferred on five individuals, including 12th President of the Republic of the Philippines Fidel V. Ramos, and the APO National Award on seven.
  • 2012

    The Japanese government provides a special cash grant for the Special Program for Restoration and Revitalization of Rural Agriculture and the Food Industry in the Tohoku region, Japan.The Taipei Declaration on Productivity and Sustainable, Inclusive Development in the Asia-Pacific is adopted during the international conference of the same name.The Secretariat office moves from Hirakawacho to Hongo.
  • 2013

    Singapore hosts the 8th EPIF.The ROC is appointed as the COE on GP.The 1st Asian Food and Agribusiness Conference is held in the ROC.Mari Amano is appointed the new Secretary-General, replacing outgoing Ryuichiro Yamazaki.The 28th Top Management Forum is held in the ROK, the first time it convenes outside Japan.
  • 2014

    The ROC hosts the 9th EPIF.The VPC becomes the Vietnam National Productivity Institute (VPNI) in April.The APO signs an MOU with Cornell University, NY, USA, on cooperation in agribusiness and other areas.The Forum on Mitigating Negative Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture is held in Indonesia in October.
  • 2015

    APO-Certified Productivity Practitioner Scheme is launched.The APO Regional Award is conferred on one and the APO National Award on four individuals.The Philippines is appointed as the COE on Public-sector Productivity.
1959
The 1st Asian Round Table Productivity Conference is held in Tokyo, Japan. An interim committee is assigned to draft a convention for the formation of an Asian productivity body.In 1960, the 2nd Asian Round Table Productivity Conference is held in Manila, the Philippines. The draft convention is adopted as the charter of the Asian Productivity Organization.

1961
The APO is formally established with eight founding members: the Republic of China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, and Thailand.The inaugural session of the APO Governing Body is held in Tokyo and the first Secretary-General is appointed.
Technical Expert Services (TES) are started and the monthly newsletter Asian Productivity is launched.

1963
The first Symposium on Top Management is held.Symposia and seminars are introduced.A study mission is sent outside Asia to the USA, UK, and Denmark.Hong Kong joins the APO.

1964
A reciprocal relationship agreement is signed with the International Labour Organization.The Ford Foundation provides a grant for a Small Business Management Trainers’ and Consultants’ course.

1965 iran flag
1965
The Republic of Vietnam and Iran join the APO.The quarterly Productivity Digest starts publication.

flag of Ceylon (later Sri Lanka)
1966
Ceylon (later Sri Lanka) joins the APO.The Agriculture Program starts.

1967
The Government of Japan grants the APO official status as an international organization.A meeting is held in Hong Kong on the APO’s 1st Five-Year Plan.

flag of indonesia
1968
Indonesia joins the APO.

flag_of_singapore
1969
Singapore joins the APO.The 1st Five-Year Plan comes into effect. A regional Information Unit is established in Manila.

1970
The 1st Asian Productivity Congress is held in Tokyo, and the Declaration on Productivity for the Asian Region is adopted.The APO’s 10th anniversary is celebrated by declaring 1970 Asian Productivity Year.

1972
The ADB and USAID offer financial grants to the APO.The 1st Expert Meeting on Productivity Measurement is organized to examine the relationship between total factor productivity and economic development.

1974
The Research and Planning Program starts operations.

1975
The 17th GBM adopts the institutional capacity building of NPOs and focus on enterprise-level productivity as policies.

1976
S.D. Ashanta of Nepal wins the APO’s flag design contest.The importance of technology for economic development is recognized. Non-ESCAP members’ participation in APO projects is welcomed under a special fund from the Government of Japan.

180x120_1980-02
1980
2nd Asian Productivity Congress is held in Hong Kong to mark the APO’s 20th anniversary.
For the first time, APO Award was conferred to nine individuals.

flag_of_bangladesh
1982
Bangladesh joins the APO.

flag_of_Malaysia
1983
Malaysia joins the APO.

flag_of_fiji
1984
Fiji joins the APO.

180x120_1985
1985
The APO Awards are renamed the APO Regional Awards, and the APO National Awards are introduced.
The first Top Management Forum was implemented in Japan.

180x120_1986-02
1986
The APO’s 25th anniversary is marked with an International Productivity Congress in Kuala Lumpur.

1988
1st Strategic Planning Committee meeting is hosted by the Secretariat.

1989
Basic Research V on Human Resources Development in the 1990s is started.Five individuals receive the APO National Award and two the Regional Award.

1990 Western Australian Minister
1990
APO projects are reclassified.The State of Western Australia, given observer status in 1989, hosts the Symposium on Tripartism in Perth for APO members.

1991_IPC
1991
The APO’s 30th anniversary is marked with an International Productivity Congress in Bangkok, where the Bangkok Declaration on Productivity for a Better Quality of Work Life is adopted.

Flag of Mongolia
1992
Mongolia joins the APO.

1993 Productivity Journal
1993
Cleaner production becomes a focus. The Productivity Journal begins publication.

1994 GP logo
1994
The Special Program for the Environment is launched, and the concept of Green Productivity developed.

1995south south program
1995
The South-South Cooperation for Supporting Industry Assistance Program is launched.

flag of vietnam
1996
Vietnam joins the APO.The Integrated Community Development approach is initiated.The World Conference on Green Productivity is held in Manila.

1997 MOU-with-UNEP
1997
The APO signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Industry and Environment Programme Activity Center.

1998
Links are established with the Asian Pacific Round Table on Cleaner Production, UNEP, US-Asia Environment Partnership, and Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft.

1999
Two new thrust areas are designated: Development of SMEs and Integrated Community Development. IT activities are enhanced.

2000 newsletter Japan
2000
The first external evaluation of APO projects is conducted by independent expertsA bimonthly Japanese edition of the APO News is publishedThe Secretariat moves from Aoyama to Hirakawa-cho.

annual report p12_international conference on productivity in the e age
2001
The APO’s 40th anniversary is marked with the First International Conference on Productivity in the e-Age in New Delhi, along with the International Forum for SMEs.

flag of laos
2002
Lao PDR joins the APO.2nd World Conference on Green Productivity is held in Manila.

2003 jica net seminar on tqm 2003
2003
First APO web-based videoconferencing project on TQM is organized.

flag_of_cambodia
2004
Cambodia joins the APO.Kuala Lumpur hosts the 1st Eco-products International Fair organized by the APO and others.The One Village, One Product movement becomes part of the Agriculture Program.

2005
Bangkok hosts the 2nd EPIF.The APO Regional Award is conferred on four individuals and the APO National Award on ten.

2006 Productivity conference in Africa
2006
After a productivity conference in Sandton, South Africa, cooperation with the Pan African Productivity Association takes off.Singapore hosts the 3rd EPIF.

2007 IPC Thailand
2007
An International Productivity Conference in Bangkok focuses on knowledge management.

2008 EPIF Vietnam
2008
The EPIF in Hanoi attracts nearly 100,000 visitors.An Observational Study Mission to Switzerland on Quality and Innovation is implemented with JETRO supportThe first self-e-learning course on the Balanced Scorecard launched.

2009 EPIF Philippines
2009
Manila hosts the 5th EPIF.Singapore is appointed as the COE on BE, the first APO COE.The APO participates in the Conference on the Global Economic Crisis in Tainan, Republic of China.

2010 STM GLOBALGAP
2010
Jakarta hosts the 6th EPIF.New Secretary-General Ryuichiro Yamazaki is appointed, replacing outgoing Secretary-General Shigeo Takenaka.A study mission to Germany on GLOBALGAP is organized by the APO.

2011 regional awardees
2011
New Delhi hosts the 7th EPIF.To mark its golden jubilee, the APO adopts new mission, vision, and thrust areas for 2020.The APO Regional Award is conferred on five individuals, including 12th President of the Republic of the Philippines Fidel V. Ramos, and the APO National Award on seven.

2012
The Japanese government provides a special cash grant for the Special Program for Restoration and Revitalization of Rural Agriculture and the Food Industry in the Tohoku region, Japan.The Taipei Declaration on Productivity and Sustainable, Inclusive Development in the Asia-Pacific is adopted during the international conference of the same name.The Secretariat office moves from Hirakawacho to Hongo.

2013
Singapore hosts the 8th EPIF.The ROC is appointed as the COE on GP.The 1st Asian Food and Agribusiness Conference is held in the ROC.Mari Amano is appointed the new Secretary-General, replacing outgoing Ryuichiro Yamazaki.The 28th Top Management Forum is held in the ROK, the first time it convenes outside Japan.

2014
The ROC hosts the 9th EPIF.The VPC becomes the Vietnam National Productivity Institute (VPNI) in April.The APO signs an MOU with Cornell University, NY, USA, on cooperation in agribusiness and other areas.The Forum on Mitigating Negative Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture is held in Indonesia in October.

2015
APO-Certified Productivity Practitioner Scheme is launched.The APO Regional Award is conferred on one and the APO National Award on four individuals.The Philippines is appointed as the COE on Public-sector Productivity.

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