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Sixty years ago today, the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) was born. Looking back, I cannot help but deeply admire and respect the enormous efforts made to make that ambitious, noble aspiration a reality.
It was even more impressive as the founding members themselves were mostly newly created at that time. The Japan Productivity Center, India Productivity Council, Korea Productivity Center, and China Productivity Center, for example, came into existence mostly in the mid-1950s. In the short time since their establishment, these trailblazing institutions had laid firm plans for a concerted effort to contribute to the well-being of people in the Asia-Pacific region through productivity improvement and held the first Asian Productivity Roundtable in 1959, which led to the birth of the APO.
The rest is history, and it is a proud, heartwarming one. The APO has grown from strength to strength, expanding its membership, scope, and activities. Asia is now the vibrant epicenter of the global economy, due in part to the APO’s efforts.
On the Diamond Jubilee of the APO, I would like to pay tribute to all the productivity champions before us, member governments, partner institutions, APO alumni, and dedicated staff of the APO Secretariat for their invaluable, untiring contributions that have made the APO what it is today.
We have certainly come a long way from the APO’s founding in 1961. Working together in a spirit of mutual cooperation for 60 years is undoubtedly an outstanding accomplishment. Our quest, however, continues, with new, more complex challenges ahead. I sincerely hope that the 60th anniversary strengthens our resolve to devote our hearts, minds, and talents to even greater success in the future.
Tokyo, 11 May 2021