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Ministers and senior government officials, productivity experts, business leaders, and civil society representatives gathered at the International Conference on Productivity and Sustainable, Inclusive Development in the Asia-Pacific in Taipei, 9–10 August.
The event was organized by the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) in collaboration with the China Productivity Center, with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economic Affairs, Republic of China.
His Excellency Vice President of the Republic of China Den-Yih Wu said in his keynote address that with the uncertainty of the global economy today, “This conference provides an excellent opportunity to focus on difficult issues and to devise an optimal platform to deal with the problems that lie ahead.”
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Yea-Ping Shih stated that, “We value our partnership with the APO and the ROC will be more than happy to collaborate with APO members.”
The conference was part of activities marking the APO’s 50th anniversary. Notable international guests included Acer Inc. Chair and CEO J.T. Wang of the Republic of China, Keosan Co. Ltd. CEO Dr. Walter Kim of the Republic of Korea, and International Rice Research Institute Deputy-Director General Dr. V. Bruce J. Tolentino.
Participants from about 20 countries reviewed the past 50 years of productivity improvement efforts in the region and identified the major innovations and best practices. They also examined the strategic themes that the APO has focused or started to work on in recent years, such as Green Productivity, SME competitiveness, and innovation-led productivity growth.
Dr. Tolentino said, “The combined forces of continuing population growth, climate change, and resource scarcity demand heightened global attention to science and technology for agricultural productivity and food security. The APO is an important, consistent champion of inclusive development, particularly through its focus on productivity in all fields of human endeavor and its emphasis on cooperation for shared growth and development across Asia and the Pacific.”
Another feature of interest was a panel discussion with eminent Asian leaders from the government, business, and nongovernment sectors who shared their visions and views on the dynamics of future socioeconomic development in the Asia-Pacific region. APO Chair Azman Hashim urged government and business leaders “to encourage productivity consciousness to take root even at the village and rural community level,” and “look to the world to expand the APO membership base.”
Vice Minister of the Ministry of Economic Affairs Tyzz-Jiun Duh hoped for joint innovation and sustainable development, where competition would be replaced by “cooperation to make the Asia-Pacific into the leading region for green competitiveness in the world.”
The experts produced a consolidated set of recommendations referred to as the Taipei Declaration to be submitted to the APO Governing Body and member governments.
Vice President Wu added that, “This declaration will be a blessing to industries throughout the region and an important reference document for governments as they seek to draft policies to deal with a changing environment and new challenges.”
The conference also unveiled an APO 50th anniversary commemorative publication featuring the productivity journey of its member economies and their accomplishments, challenges, and aspirations.
APO Secretary-General Ryuichiro Yamazaki closed the conference by saying that he “…is confident that the publication will serve as a beacon to assist APO members navigate their course to attain sustainable, inclusive development.”
Click here for speeches delivered during the conference.