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SG’s Corner: Official Statements

Eco-Products International Fair 2006
31 October – 2 November 2006 , SUNTEC Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Singapore

photoLadies and Gentlemen:

It is a great pleasure for me to be here in beautiful and bustling Singapore to welcome you personally, our distinguished guests, to this opening ceremony of the Eco-Products International Fair 2006. Thank you very much for your support. This is a landmark event for the Asian Productivity Organization and we are very proud and privileged to have SPRING Singapore and the Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore as the co-organizers. Lending importance to the event is the presence of Singapore Minister for Environment and Water Resources, the Honorable Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim. We are deeply honored and grateful to him for gracing this occasion. 

The APO introduced the concept of Green Productivity in 1994 and has been actively advocating it since then. The concept was conceived on the assumption that a healthy environment and a robust, competitive economy are mutually dependable. In other words, we are claiming that environmentally sound manufacturing practices and management activities can and should make economic sense.

This concept is increasingly being endorsed in Japan and when the APO proposed establishing the GP Advisory Committee in Japan in 2003 to advice and support the APO in promoting Green Productivity, about 40 leading Japanese corporations signed up to join the committee. Since then the committee has been actively helping the APO in implementing Eco-Products International Fairs and other GP-related activities.

There are many reasons why the GP concept has been well received in Japan. One is that Japanese companies, like their counterparts elsewhere, must cope with markets, both domestic and overseas, where environmentally conscious customers are increasing at a rapid rate. In today’s global economy, being vigilant and responsive to changing demands is critical to maintaining a competitive edge over your rivals. The existence of sophisticated consumers demanding eco-friendly goods and services have in fact fueled the creation of new value-added products and services. Eco-products fairs, like this one, will educate consumers on the importance and availability of a wide variety of eco-friendly products. This will eventually prove to be significant to the productivity quest in Singapore and other countries in the APO region.

In this connection, I am happy to announce that this year’s fair, when compared with the previous two that we held, is the largest in terms of space used and number of exhibitors. With 12 countries participating in the exhibition, this is also the most international in character. We are expecting more than 40,000 visitors of all ages and from all walks of life in the coming three days. The progressive increase in the magnitude of this fair is encouraging as it reflects a greater awareness of the need to protect the environment.

As a supplement to the series of Eco-Products International Fairs, the APO has been publishing an annual Eco-Products Directory since 2004.  The Eco-Products Directory 2006, which lists 580 eco-materials, eco-components, and eco-products as well as eco-services, has just been released. Professor Ryoichi Yamamoto, Vice Chairman of the GP Advisory Committee, will later present the first copy to the Honorable Minister.

Before concluding, I would like to express a special welcome and thanks to all the exhibitors participating in this fair. My deep gratitude goes to the many organizations and individuals who have made tremendous contributions to the fair. I would also like to record my deep appreciation to SPRING Singapore and the Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore for their untiring efforts in organizing this event and their commitment to its success. I am grateful to the Japanese corporations who are members of the GP Advisory Committee for their strong support and participation, without which this fair would not have been possible. Finally and not least, I would also like to thank the Japanese Government for its financial and other assistance.

Thank you very much for your attention.

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