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The Republic of China has provided a substantial special grant for supporting the 50th anniversary commemorative activities of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO). The grant will fund the publication of a three-part 50th anniversary book and an international conference in early 2012 in Taipei, where the book will debut with the authors presenting their findings and ideas.
APO Secretary-General Ryuichiro Yamazaki, during a courtesy visit and meeting on 2 June with H.E. Chi-tai (John) Feng, Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Tokyo, expressed the APO’s deep appreciation for the meaningful support from the ROC. He also acknowledged the assistance of the China Productivity Center (CPC) and the Taipei Representative Office in Tokyo in facilitating the arrangements for the grant. Representative Feng in turn noted that the ROC government was very happy to provide the special grant to the APO for the the publication and conference. He said that the ROC recognized the importance and effectiveness of the APO and assured the Secretary-General of full support for the APO and its activities. Other officials present at the meeting were Director of the Economic Division Yu Chi-Zen, Executive Assistant to the Representative of the Economic Division Bruce Chih-Yu Chien, and APO Industry Department Director Setsuko Miyakawa.
As a founding member of the APO, the ROC and CPC have consistently encouraged local industry, the public sector, and academia to work closely with the APO in the promotion of innovation. The CPC has introduced a range of activities to stimulate international exchange and cooperation. Stated CPC President Pao-cheng Chang, “The special grant to the APO is part of the ROC’s continuing commitment to contribute to Asian economic prosperity efforts. We hope to have more opportunities to participate in cooperative ventures through the APO.”
The details of the project, which will be jointly undertaken by the APO Secretariat and CPC through early 2012, are being finalized. A project notification was issued inviting NPOs to nominate experts/writers who will attend the first coordination meeting 6–8 September. The yet-untitled special anniversary publication will take a holistic look at the relationship between productivity and socioeconomic development. In the last 50 years the APO and its network of NPOs have jointly promoted the productivity movement in the Asia-Pacific region and, in the last two decades, have incorporated the principles of environmental conservation and quality management to carve a unique niche in the advocacy for productivity. The ROC grant provides an opportunity to document the achievements of the APO and its continuing future role in the development of its members.
The planned book will have three parts to be written by various international experts: Part 1 will chronicle the 50 years (1961–2011) of the productivity movement in the Asia-Pacific region from a macroeconomic performance perspective; Part 2 will cover specific themes that the APO has focused on or started to work on, including Green Productivity and sustainable economic development, demographics and productivity in aging societies, SME competitiveness in a globalized economy, climate change and agricultural productivity, and public-sector productivity; and Part 3 will feature predictions and insights of various authors on how new drivers of productivity growth will shape economic development in the Asia-Pacific region in the next 20 years.