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SG’s Corner: Official Statements

Eco-products International Fair 2008
1 March 2008, National Convention Center, Hanoi, Vietnam

Opening Address

sgLadies and Gentlemen:

On behalf of the Asian Productivity Organization, I would like to welcome you all to the opening ceremony of the Eco-products International Fair 2008. We are sponsoring this landmark event jointly with the Directorate for Standards and Quality and the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment. Lending importance to this opening ceremony is the presence of H.E. Mr. Nguyen Duc Kien, Vice-Chairman of the National Assembly. We are deeply honored and grateful to him for gracing this occasion.

Since 1994, the APO has been advocating the concept of Green Productivity (or GP), a strategy for harmonizing productivity enhancement with environmental preservation. In 2003, in collaboration with about 50 major Japanese corporations, the APO established the GP Advisory Committee (or GPAC), whose role is to advise and support the organization in implementing environment-related activities. Subsequently, the GPAC identified three core activities in the field of green supply chains, the most important of which was to organize an eco-products exhibition on a regular basis in the Asian region.

In the following year, the first EPIF was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With 77 exhibitors displaying their eco-friendly products, the fair was a great success, drawing about 12,000 viewers during the three-day period. Encouraged by the result, the second EPIF was organized in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2005 and the third one in Singapore in 2006, each using more display space and attracting more visitors than before.

This EPIF in Vietnam is the fourth in the series. Unlike the previous three host countries, Vietnam is a relative newcomer to the APO family. Nonetheless, Vietnam has shown keen interest not only in its own economic growth but also in promoting a healthy environment. As a member of the APO, Vietnam so far has implemented more GP related-projects than any other member country, mostly in the field of community development. It was no surprise to us, therefore, when Vietnam expressed its readiness to host this EPIF. As the scale of this exhibition is considerably larger than the one in Malaysia and is approximately equal to those in Bangkok and Singapore, I have no doubt that this fair will be another great success, attracting tens of thousands of visitors and educating directly or indirectly many more people in the significance of eco-products, eco-designs, and eco-innovation.

As a supplement to the series of EPIFs, we have published an annual Eco-products Directory since 2004. This year’s directory, which lists 724 eco-materials, eco-components, eco-products, and eco-services, has just been released. The first copy of this directory will be presented to His Excellency the Vice-Chairman of the National Assembly by Professor Ryoichi Yamamoto, Vice-Chairperson of the GPAC.

Copies will subsequently be presented to all the governments and national productivity organizations of member countries and more will be made available to interested organizations and individuals upon request. In addition, since the previous versions drew considerable attention from environment-related groups not only inside but also outside the APO region, we are planning to distribute copies of the Eco-products Directory 2008 to participants and international as well as local media attending the G-8 summit meetings to be held in Hokkaido and elsewhere in Japan this summer.

Before concluding, I would like to express my appreciation to Dr. Ngo Quy Viet and his colleagues at the Directorate for Standards and Quality as well as Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Sinh and his team at the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment for their efforts in organizing this event. I am also grateful to the members of the GPAC for their strong support and participation, without which this EPIF would not have been possible. My special thanks go to Dr. Tamotsu Nomakuchi of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and Mr. Kazuyoshi Terashima of Ebara Corporation, who are joining us in this ceremony as the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the GPAC, respectively. Also, I thank H.E. Hoang Van Phong, Minister of Science and Technology and other Government leaders for their presence in this ceremony. Finally, I wish to express my appreciation to all the other participants from Vietnam and abroad who have contributed to making this event such a resounding success.

Thank you.

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