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The Asian Productivity Organization (APO) concluded the 65th Session of the Governing Body (GBM) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 24–26 May 2023. After three years of conducting the meeting virtually due to pandemic restrictions, 44 APO Directors, Alternate Directors, and Advisers from 19 members gathered in person to review and deliberate on the organization’s progress, strategic directions, policies, and programs. Two Observers, the President of the Pan-Africa Productivity Association (PAPA) and President of the Kazakhstan Productivity Center, also attended. This annual meeting is a crucial platform for maintaining strong relationships among the APO’s diverse members and fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose within the organization.
L–R: APO Director for Mongolia Yamaaranz Erkhembayar; outgoing APO Chair and APO Director for Cambodia Phork Sovarinth; Guest of Honor, Vice Chief Cabinet Secretary H.E. Byambasuren Urgamal; APO Secretary-General Dr. Indra Pradana Singawinata.
On 24 May, the inaugural session opened with a cultural performance, after which APO Director for Mongolia and 65th GBM host Yamaaranz Erkhembayar warmly welcomed the delegates in his opening remarks. The Guest of Honor, Vice Chief Cabinet Secretary of the Government of Mongolia, H.E. Byambasuren Urgamal, gave the inaugural address, noting the timeliness of hosting the GBM and the role of public-sector productivity in Mongolia. He emphasized its importance for the sustainable socioeconomic growth of any nation and looked forward to greater progress in Mongolia’s productivity growth with support from the APO.
Highlights of the Plenary Session included the election the new APO Chair and Vice Chairs. The incoming Chair, APO Director for the ROC Sheng-Hsiung Hsu, who is taking this role for the second term in his more than 20 years of experience as an APO Director, looked forward to working closely with the Vice Chairs, Acting APO Director for Fiji Tomasi Kama and Alternate Director for India Sundeep Kumar Nayak. APO Secretary-General Dr. Indra also reported on the documents for adoption, proposals for endorsement, and program progress. The first day concluded with deliberations, discussions, and decisions.
On the second day, two guest speakers, Economic Policy Advisor to the President of Mongolia Davaadalai Batsur and Director of the Japanese National Agriculture and Food Research Organization Development Strategy Center Dr. Satoshi Morita, were invited to give special presentations on “Boosting Productivity Growth in Mongolia” and the new APO Center of Excellence on Climate-smart Agriculture, respectively. Presentations on policy directives submitted by APO members and the adoption of the Summary Record of Proceedings and Decisions for Day 1 followed.
The host country enriched delegates’ experience by offering exposure to Mongolia’s rich traditions and culture throughout their stay in Ulaanbaatar.
Inaugural Address by GOH H.E. Byambasuren Urgamal
Welcome Remarks by APO Director for Mongolia Yamaaranz Erkhembayar
Opening Remarks by APO Chair Phork Sovanrith