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Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Secretary-General Dr. Santhi Kanoktanaporn is on an official visit to Nepal, 25–27 June 2018, holding meetings with key policymakers to explore how APO Specific National Program (SNP) projects could better address national socioeconomic development needs.
On the first day of his visit, the Secretary-General held discussions with Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Prasad Yadav and Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office and Council of Ministers Lal Shanker Ghimire on the need to ramp up National Productivity and Economic Development Centre (NPEDC) capabilities and devise a national productivity master plan.
Minister Yadav reaffirmed Nepal’s commitment to the new APO business model and SNP initiative. He expressed support for the SNP to achieve the social development goals of Nepal under the current administration of Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli.
Dr. Santhi and Minister Yadav, with the support of Secretary Ghimire, concluded that there was scope for more targeted policy advisory services and a need to develop a master plan through cooperation between NPEDC, Industrial Development Management, Ltd (IDM) and the APO, particularly on production and productivity-related matters. Nepal welcomes APO expertise in this new phase of development under a more stable government.
“The APO is committed to working closely with the Government of Nepal to realize the country’s vision of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepalis’. I have shared with government policymakers the 2018 IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking released last week, which underscores the importance of future readiness and the ability of countries to meet the challenges of our rapidly changing world,” the Secretary-General stated.
He commented that the ranking assessed the extent to which a country was able to adapt and exploit digital technology options, leading to transformation in the government as well as business and social sectors. Secretary-General Santhi encouraged Nepal to move toward becoming a globally digitally competitive economy. “Digital competitiveness is not only an economic tool but also a policy objective for all countries in this new era,” he commented.
The APO Secretary-General met senior officials from the Nepalese Ministry of Industry, including Secretary Yam Kumari Khatiwada Baskota and Joint Secretary Binod Prakash Singh. He also held talks with Chairman of Nepal Industrial Estate Management Ltd. Nanda Kishor Basnet, General Manager and NPO Head Anjana Tamrakar of the NPEDC, and CEO Dr. Chandika Bhatta of the Special Economic Zone Authority of Nepal. They explored how the APO could support Nepal and local industry in improving overall productivity.
Nepal is a founding member of the APO, an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region. Established in 1961, the APO contributes to the sustainable socioeconomic development of the region through policy advisory services, acting as a think tank, and undertaking smart initiatives in the industry, agriculture, service, and public sectors. The APO is shaping the future of the region by assisting member economies in formulating national strategies for enhanced productivity and through a range of institutional capacity-building efforts, including research and centers of excellence in member countries.