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“Let us be closer to each other, let us dedicate all our resources to assist each other as APO member states, and let us assist other countries in the Asia-Pacific to climb the productivity ladder,” urged APO Director for Indonesia and Director General, Training and Productivity, Ministry of Manpower, Khairul Anwar as he welcomed the APO Governing Body (GB) to its 58th session in Jakarta, Indonesia, 19 April 2016.
A total of 45 delegates, comprising APO Directors and Alternate Directors as well as Advisers from 19 member countries, convened at the Hotel Mulia Senayan-Jakarta to inaugurate the meeting, along with five observers from the Center on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Pan African Productivity Association (PAPA), Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
Minister of Manpower Hanif Dhakiri of the Government of Indonesia presided over the Inaugural Session as the Guest of Honor. In declaring the official opening of the meeting, Minister Hanif said that Indonesia was honored to be the host, noting that the opportunity “is very valuable to encourage the Indonesian people to accelerate the realization of our dream to become a developed country with a high level of social welfare.” Achieving high productivity and competiveness was a top-priority national agenda item, he stressed, noting four strategic factors that that had been key to his country’s productivity improvement: good governance; technology engineering and innovation; improvement of human resources competency; and development of a productive culture. “I hope that what we have done and will be doing in the future will make Indonesia be a more productive, competitive, prosperous nation,” he asserted, looking forward to the acceleration of national as well as regional efforts for enhancing productivity.
As the APO Chair for 2015–2016, APO Alternate Director for Pakistan and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Industries and Production, Shafqut-ur-Rehman Ranjha, in his opening address, reaffirmed the importance of the APO in raising productivity for long-term economic development, noting that “greater regional integration will also be necessary for the sustainable growth and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.” In passing the baton of the APO Chair to the APO Director for the Philippines, he urged fellow members to provide their fullest support to the new Chair and Secretary-General in meeting the challenges ahead.
The seats of APO Chair and Vice Chairs rotate annually among APO members, and representatives are elected at each session to lead the GB through its deliberations and decision-making processes in the following 12 months. As the first order of business, the GB confirmed the appointment of APO Director for the Philippines and Deputy Director-General, National Economic and Development Authority, Margarita R. Songco as APO Chair for 2016–2017, assisted by APO Director for Singapore and Assistant Chief Executive, Capabilities and Partnership, SPRING Singapore, Chew Mok Lee as First Vice Chair and APO Director for Sri Lanka and Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration and Management, Jinasiri Dadallage as Second Vice Chair.
Under the direction of the new APO Chair, this GB Meeting will discuss key agenda items over the course of its three-day schedule, including the Annual Report of the Secretary-General, endorsement of the Financial Report for the Year 2015, the approval of the Preliminary Budget for the 2017–2018 Biennium, and the appointment of the APO Secretary-General. APO members are also expected to consider the revised Proposed Roadmap to Achieve the APO Vision 2020, as well as a proposal for the expansion of the APO Digital Learning Program.
Photos courtesy of Directorate General of Training and Productivity Development.
Click here for speeches delivered during the opening of the 58th GBM: