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The Green Productivity (GP) movement was initiated by the APO in 1994 to help member countries find new avenues for productivity improvement hand in hand with environmental conservation. GP for Sustainable Energy and Environment was the overarching theme of the 7th Eco-products International Fair (EPIF) 2011 and international conference held 10–12 February at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India.
Over 25,000 visitors came to see the latest in environmental technologies, products, and services presented by exhibitors from Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, and India. The fair, which was held concurrently with the 19th International Engineering and Technology Fair (IETF), also showcased corporate social responsibility programs in the private sector, projects of development organizations, and institutional profiles of the APO, India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, National Productivity Council (NPC), and Confederation of Indian Industry, the joint organizers of the EPIF 2011.
At the inaugural ceremony of the IETF, congratulatory addresses were delivered by HE Hideaki Domichi, Ambassador of Japan to India, and Chairperson of the Preparatory Committee for the EPIF, Vice Chairperson of the APO Green Productivity Advisory Committee (GPAC), and Senior Executive Advisor of Teijin Ltd. Takashi Yamagishi. In the same program, Chairperson of the Committee for Establishment of the Eco-products Database, Vice Chairperson of the GPAC, and Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo Dr. Ryoichi Yamamoto presented the Eco-products Directory 2011 to HE Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry of India.
Minister Sharma, in his inaugural address at the EPIF, acknowledged the significance of the fair in promoting eco-consciousness among Indian businesses and hoped that the mutually beneficial relationships developed through this EPIF between Indian and Japanese enterprises would be sustained in the future. Later in the afternoon of the 10 February, Minister Sharma and Ambassador Domichi led the ribbon-cutting ceremony in Hall 18 to open the EPIF 2011 to the public. Witnessing the ceremony were HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade of the United Arab Emirates, Chairperson Yamagishi, and APO Secretary-General Ryuichiro Yamazaki.
The parallel International Conference on Green Productivity for Sustainable Energy and Environment, organized jointly by the APO and NPC, was attended by about 150 international and local participants. Welcome addresses were given by NPC Director General N.C. Vasudevan and APO Secretary-General Yamazaki. Japan’s Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, key players in the promotion of GP in the Asia-Pacific region, were represented by Councillor Yukio Kato and Director Yu Murata, respectively. In his keynote address at the conference, EPIF Convenor Suresh Prabhu said that combining innovation and regulation was the key to achieve energy efficiency. Chief Patron of the EPIF 2011 J.N. Godrej stressed that economic growth must be inclusive so that the benefits of development were felt by the larger part of society, and that a life cycle carbon analysis approach in evaluating greenhouse gas emissions of products would be necessary.
At the closing of the conference on 11 February, Chairman of the Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS) Guah Eng Hock received the EPIF flag in a ceremonial handover from GPAC Chairperson Teisuke Kitayama. The EPIF 2012 is being planned by Singapore to serve as a global platform for showcasing Asia’s and international economies’ commitment to the environment.