APO members meet for GBM2013/05/21
The 55th Governing Body Meeting (GBM) of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) commenced on 21 May 2013 in Tokyo. Approximately 50 delegates comprising APO directors and their advisers from 19 members, along with observers from various national agencies and international organizations such as the ASEAN-Japan Centre, ILO, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific, and Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology of Turkey attended.
Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister Masaji Matsuyama, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Japan, was the guest of honor at the event. In his keynote speech, he commented that it was imperative to create the environment for SMEs to enrich and demonstrate their strength. He added, “This is why I feel empathy for the APO’s activity as it aims to improve the productivity of member SMEs and societies.” He also expressed hope for the APO’s programs to continue helping Japanese companies manufacture better products and for Japan’s technologies and experience to be utilized by APO members for their development.
Mr. Mitsuhiro Wada, APO Alternate Director for Japan, delivered the welcome remarks on behalf of Mr. Kunio Umeda, APO Director for Japan. He said, “Compared to the time of the APO’s establishment, members’ needs and interests vis à vis productivity have become diversified, reflecting recent dynamic changes in the economies in Asia and over the world. In this context it is essential for the APO to add value and gain significance by addressing new challenges and requests from members in a timely manner.”
APO Chair Azman Hashim also expressed similar sentiments. He stated, “Increasing the number of members will help greatly in not only improving the funding situation of the APO but also enabling the APO to maximize its capabilities and expertise in helping more economies to benefit from its services. The APO should target increasing its membership from the current 20 to 30 or 40 countries within five to 10 years.”
Important GBM agenda items include the annual report of the Secretary-General, the APO revised budget for 2014, a report on the review of the APO membership contribution formula, and selection of a new Secretary-General.