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Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Secretary-General Dr. Santhi Kanoktanaporn said that there was a need for a strategic direction and foresight to address sustainability issues and broaden the concept of Green Productivity (GP) that had already taken root in member countries.
While addressing the 15th Annual Meeting of the APO Green Productivity Advisory Committee (GPAC) in Tokyo on 10 February 2017, the Secretary-General reported that the APO would make concentrated efforts to promote sustainable productivity as a key element to enable members to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Reiterating the APO’s commitment to helping countries in the Asia-Pacific region meet the SDGs, he pointed out that, in addition to covering critical climate change issues, the SDGs included broader aims, such as promoting inclusiveness and empowerment of women, sustainable agriculture, sustainable economic growth, and ending all forms of poverty.
“These SDGs are equally relevant to APO member countries as they are to the rest of the world,” he stated. Secretary-General Kanoktanaporn also noted that, “The APO has been expanding activities internationally to spread the concept of GP throughout the Asia-Pacific region since 1994 to promote the importance of a green, sustainable society among its members.”
During the meeting, a delegation from Vietnam represented by Deputy Secretary General Nguyen Quang Vinh of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Director Nguyen Anh Tuan of the Vietnam National Productivity Institute presented the plan for the 11th Eco-products International Fair (EPIF) to be organized in Ho Chi Minh City, 11–13 May 2017.
Earlier, welcoming GPAC members and the representatives from Vietnam, GPAC Chairperson Hajime Bada, Honorary Advisor, JFE Holdings, Inc., highlighted the role of the APO in improving productivity and sustainable development, including the role of the GPAC and the EPIFs in promoting GP. “Like the rest of the world, APO member countries are also committed to the Paris Agreement and meeting the UN SDGs by 2030,” he said.
Emphasizing that, unlike the rest of the world, APO members had registered strong economic growth, the GPAC Chairperson pointed out that he expected the trend to continue with more member countries focusing on increasing their share of global exports. “A growing economy means that the APO region will require more energy, and it is of utmost importance that clean, green energy is available,” Bada said.
He stressed that an important task before the GPAC was to help APO member countries better use renewable energy and contribute to solving global climate issues. The GPAC also needed to brainstorm on how it could play a more meaningful role, including the role of Japanese companies, in supporting developing APO member economies, Chairperson Bada suggested.