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27th APO Top Management Forum on Asian Dynamism and Global Management [14-16 February 2011, Kyoto, Japan]

Opening Statement
by Ryuichiro Yamazaki
APO Secretary-General

President Tsuneaki Taniguchi of the Japan Productivity Center, Vice Chairman Hiroshi Tomono of the Kansai Productivity Center, The 30 participants representing all the 18 member countries outside Japan,
Distinguished speakers,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the 27th APO Top Management Forum. I would like to convey my gratitude to the Japan Productivity Center (JPC) for hosting this annual forum with the APO. This year, we will focus on the key topic of Asian Dynamism and Global Management.

Asia has recorded steady and consistent economic growth over the past 30 years except for the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the more recent Lehman Shock. Thus, this Forum’s theme is both timely and crucial as interdependent Asian economies, while deepening their intra-regional trade and investment ties, are now seizing new opportunities to expand beyond their domestic and regional markets. One example is in the service sector, with larger and more diverse cross border movement of people, ranging from tourists, workers, students, academics and even in medical care, both patients, nurses and even doctors. We will certainly benefit tremendously from the insights of our distinguished panel speakers.

Last week, I was in New Delhi attending the APO’s largest annual event, the Eco-products International Fair (EPIF). The EPIF, one of Asia’s largest international environmental fairs, is a platform for enlightening both enterprise and the general public about our common objective of attaining sustainable economic development. It also provides an opportunity for Asian enterprises to identify new business opportunities arising there from. We, at the APO, have termed this endeavor as “Green Productivity”. India provided the perfect showcase for the world’s leading and innovative eco products and services in a vibrant emerging market. It reminded me of the classic Peter Drucker statement that a business has only two basic functions: marketing and innovation. Although personally, I would also inject the notion of the “public good” aspect of business activities.

I would like to take this opportunity to inform you all that the APO is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Throughout its history, together with the support of its member governments and their respective National Productivity Organizations (NPOs), the APO has been committed to improving productivity to realize a better quality of life in the Asia-Pacific. Back to back with the annual APO Governing Body Meeting on 20 and 21 April in Tokyo, we will hold our golden jubilee ceremony. At that ceremony, recipients of the APO Regional Awards, which are only awarded every five years, will be conferred to five distinguished recipients, such as the former Philippines President Fidel V. Ramos and President Tsuneaki Taniguchi of the JPC. Furthermore, the APO Secretariat is presently conducting an intensive all-Secretariat review of its existing strategies and is developing new ones to ensure that we, the APO, continues to be relevant to the productivity enhancement needs of member countries.

In closing, allow me to reiterate my sincere appreciation to the JPC for jointly organizing the 2011 Top Management Forum. Also, my gratitude goes to the distinguished speakers for sharing their important insights with us. I also hope that all our guests from overseas have a memorable stay in Kyoto, the historical capital of Japan, rich with UNESCO world heritages.

Thank you very much.

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