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The 56th Workshop Meeting of Heads of NPOs (WSM) convened in Singapore from 20 to 22 October 2015. It was attended by 35 NPO and agriculture delegates and 19 advisers representing APO members at the meeting alongside observers from the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP), Pan African Productivity Association (PAPA), Singapore Productivity Association (SPA), Singapore Productivity Center (SPC), Singapore Innovation and Productivity Institute (SiPi), and the Solomon Islands. The main agenda items of the WSM include the adoption of the evaluation of 2014 projects, reconfirmation of the APO Program Plan for 2016, and discussion of the new APO Program Plan for the 2017–2018 Biennium.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Education Low Yen Ling delivered the inaugural address. She noted that, “Productivity growth is critical to sustaining a country’s economic growth. It enables an economy to produce more value, while using its resources more effectively, thus increasing its competitiveness.” She praised the APO 2020 vision to transform into a leading international organization through enhancing productivity for being noble as it would help to create better jobs for the citizens of its member countries.
APO Director for Singapore Chew Mok Lee welcomed delegates, stating: “Collectively, the APO and fellow NPOs have a wealth of experience and knowledge in the areas of productivity, economic development, and policymaking.” She added that, “We should draw on such institutional knowledge to support each other in our roles as NPOs to meet the needs of our countries and the overall socioeconomic development of the Asia-Pacific. Ultimately, we hope to bring the ideas generated during these three days to fruition.”
During the WSM, NPO Delegate from Singapore Chew Mok Lee was elected Chair and NPO Delegate from Malaysia Kamaruddin Mohamad as Vice Chair. APO Secretary-General Mari Amano reported on some of the initiatives that could be anticipated by APO members: “Public-sector productivity is set to take center stage with the approval of the Governing Body to designate the Development Academy of the Philippines as the Center of Excellence (COE) on Public-sector Productivity. The new COE will develop a master plan and implement activities to facilitate learning, innovation, and sharing of knowledge and best practices from the public sector on topics important to member countries.” On the international front, the Secretary-General added that, “We will be collaborating with the Development Centre of the OECD on the publication of a productivity outlook report, which will analyze productivity growth trends in APO economies and related policies. Publication is planned for mid-2016.”
During Plenary Session 1, the APO Secretariat reported on the Strategic Planning Workshop for APO Liaison Officers and Roadmap to Achieve the APO Vision 2020. That was followed by presentations on the criteria for and prioritization of 2017–2018 project lineups and proposed expansion of the APO Digital Learning Program.
During Plenary Session 2, each NPO presented its country’s innovation strategy and framework with some examples and gave suggestions on priority innovation areas or capabilities for future APO programs.
Strategic Planning Session 1 took place with delegates breaking into different groups to discuss the priority productivity training topics for self-learning courses. The groups explained the various insights, suggestions, and recommendations of the breakout sessions to delegates the next day.
On day two, delegates were involved in Strategic Planning Session 2 to reconfirm the APO Program Plan for 2016 and review the APO Program Plan for the 2017–2018 Biennium.
On the last day, delegates attended a master class and networking session with the American Productivity and Quality Center.
Photos courtesy of SPRING Singapore.
Click here for speeches delivered during the 56th WSM.
Inaugural address by Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Education Low Yen Ling
Welcome remarks by APO Director for Singapore Chew Mok Lee
Statement by APO Secretary-General Mari Amano