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Special Events

6th Eco-products International Fair
4−7 March 2010, Balai Sidang Jakarta Convention Center, Indonesia

photo1APO Secretary-General Takenaka delivering opening remarks

Opening Remarks

by Shigeo Takenaka
Secretary-General, Asian Productivity Organization

Ladies and Gentlemen:

On behalf of the Asian Productivity Organization, I would like to welcome you all to the opening of the Eco-products International Fair (EPIF) 2010. We are sponsoring this landmark event jointly with Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration, Government of Indonesia, and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. We are honored and privileged by the presence of the Hon. Hatta Radjasa, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, on this occasion in spite of his busy schedule.

The APO introduced the concept of Green Productivity (referred to as GP) in 1994 and has been advocating it ever since. The concept was derived from our conviction that the pursuit of productivity promotion is compatible with the protection of our environment and that one is not a trade-off for the other.

When we first proposed this idea, not many business leaders agreed with it. The prevailing view at that time was that environmental preservation represented more of a burden than an opportunity. But as time went by, more and more people in the business community came around and saw things our way. Therefore when the APO proposed the establishment of the GP Advisory Committee (GPAC), a committee consisting of major Japanese companies with demonstrated excellence in environmental management, 39 leading Japanese corporations joined immediately. Since then, the committee has been actively assisting the APO in implementing GP-related activities and its membership has increased to more than 60. The GPAC’s support has been indispensable in organizing the EPIFs, the first of which was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2004. It was followed by those in Bangkok, Thailand; Singapore; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Manila, the Philippines. The last two received more than 80,000 visitors.

This EPIF in Indonesia is the sixth in the series. The selection of Indonesia as the host country has a special meaning for us. Indonesia is the largest economy in the ASEAN region and the fourth largest among APO member countries after Japan, India, and the Republic of Korea. Its economic growth in recent years has been probably the fastest in the APO region and it has firmly established itself as one of the G-20 nations. In other words, the country’s influence is felt well beyond the region.

Indonesia has also played an important role in the area of the preservation of the environment. It hosted a COP meeting in Bali in 2007. President Yudhoyono attended the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen last year and said that, “We want to be part of a global solution.”

We at the APO have done our best to ensure that the scale of the sixth EPIF in Jakarta matches the scale of the country and the depth of its commitment to the environment. I am glad to announce that the fair will feature 119 Indonesian and 35 Japanese exhibitors, and combined with exhibitors from Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand they make this year’s fair one of the largest in terms of the number of exhibitors. In terms of the exhibition area, this is by far the largest so far. Given the interest shown by many Indonesian businesspeople and environment-conscious citizens, it is expected that the number of spectators will reach the 100,000 mark for the first time.

In parallel with the exhibition, we are going to organize an international conference on “Green Productivity to Enhance Competitiveness” for two days, starting from this afternoon. Scheduled resouce speakers in the conference include an Indonesian minister and a Japanese vice-minister and a galaxy of top political, economic, and academic leaders from Asia. I am sure those who attend the conference will benefit a great deal from their insights and discussion.

As a supplement to the series of EPIFs, the APO has published the Eco-products Directory annually since 2004. Starting from 754 eco-products and eco-services listed in the first directory, each new volume has included more listings covering a wider range of goods and services. The 2010 edition reached 1,000 entries for the first time. The first copy will be presented to the Coordinating Minister Hatta Radjasa by Professor Ryoichi Yamamoto of the University of Tokyo, who is a vice-chairperson of the GPAC. Copies will subsequently be presented to all APO member governments and national productivity organizations.

Before concluding, I would like to express my appreciation to Hon. Muhaimin Iskandar, Minister of Manpower and Transmigration, as well as other government leaders from both Indonesia and Japan for their presence at this ceremony. I also would like to thank Vice Chairman Gobel and his team at the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Mr. Masri Hasyar and his team at the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration for their strenuous 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 Mr. Teisuke Kitayama, chairperson of the GPAC. I would also like to thank the ministers and other government leaders from Indonesia and Japan for their presence at this ceremony.

Finally, I wish to express my appreciation to all the exhibitors participating in this fair from the host country and abroad who have contributed to making it such a resounding success.

Thank you.