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On 1 July 2019, Turkish Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology Dr. Çetin Ali Dönmez warmly welcomed Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Secretary-General Dr. Santhi Kanoktanaporn to Ankara and reported that progress had been made in the accession to APO membership over the past few years. He hoped that the legislative process would conclude very soon. In response, Secretary-General Dr. Santhi Kanoktanaporn stated on behalf of the APO Governing Body that it had already approved Turkey’s membership in the APO and looked forward to receiving its final confirmation.
Deputy Minster Dr. Dönmez introduced the ministry’s recent priority areas and activities relating to productivity, including technological transformation through digitization. He noted that productivity in the government sector was one of challenges that the country should address.
Secretary-General Dr. Santhi outlined the APO’s latest initiatives such as the Centers of Excellence (COE) and Specific National Program (SNP). He highlighted the successes of the COE on Business Excellence, Green Productivity, Public-sector Productivity, and IT/Industry 4.0. The SNP initiative had supported four members in developing productivity master plans designed to meet their individual needs and expectations. Emphasizing that addressing technological aspects alone would not solve challenges in today’s fast-changing business environment, the Secretary-General explained that the APO had therefore adopted the concept of strategic foresight in developing the draft master plans.
Deputy Minister Dr. Dönmez showed keen interest in the APO’s initiatives and hoped that Turkey would benefit by participating in such programs once it became a member. At the same time, he was confident that Turkey’s involvement in the APO family would add value for existing members as the country had rich experience and expertise through its own productivity movement starting from the 1960s. Turkey is currently aiming at shaping productivity strategies in all sectors, especially in industry, SMEs, energy efficiency, and digital transformation.