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by Ryuichiro Yamazaki
APO Chair, Distinguished Directors, Ladies, and Gentlemen:
I would like to thank the Directors and delegates for your cooperation in making this Governing Body Meeting (GBM) a very interactive, productive session. Allow me to summarize quickly the key points and follow-up actions from this GBM.
I am pleased to note that member countries have agreed on the 2013–2014 total membership contributions. The Secretariat will now be able to proceed to discuss and modify the 2013–2014 program plans at the next WSM. However, as the issue of the membership contribution formula has not yet been resolved, the Secretariat will continue to support the task force in as efficient and effective manner as possible so that we may arrive at a satisfactory solution very soon. I hope that this key issue will be discussed in the usual APO spirit of cooperation and solidarity. This is going to be very critical as without any agreement on the formula, the apportionment of the total membership contributions for 2013–2014 cannot be calculated for each member, and as a consequence, members may have difficulties obtaining the necessary, timely approval of their contributions from their governments. In the interim period, the Secretariat will have to apportion the membership contributions according to the current three-year formula when revising the APO budget for the 2013–2014 biennium which will be circulated to APO Directors for approval.
An important issue that was resolved was the location of the Secretariat office thanks to the decisiveness of APO Directors. In this respect, I would like to express my appreciation to the Government of Japan for having reconsidered its position on the office rental issue. Now that the decision is to stay in the Tokyo metropolitan area, once a suitable new office location has been identified with the support of the Government of Japan, the Secretariat will update and seek the endorsement of APO Directors.
The ideas that APO Directors presented in their policy statements are very valuable and useful. As requested by the Chair, the Secretariat will consolidate and categorize these ideas for further discussion and prioritization at the next WSM. The direction from the Chair to focus on not more than six key areas to develop action plans was a timely reminder that, with our limited resources, the APO must always focus on what generates the greatest benefits for members.
I would like to thank and acknowledge the presence of our observers from the Colombo Plan, Pan African Productivity Association, Singapore Productivity Association, and Government of Turkey. I would like especially to recognize the representative of the Government of Turkey for expressing his intention to follow up on Turkey’s aspiration to join the APO, in response to Chair Azman Hashim’s invitation. With more emphasis on the APO increasing its international partnerships and expanding the membership, I hope to see even more observers at the next GBM.
I must now thank outgoing Chair Somdy Inmyxai, the APO Director for Lao PDR; the incumbent APO Chair Azman Hashim; First Vice-Chair Yamaaranz Erkhembayar, the APO Director for Mongolia; and Second Vice-Chair Narendra Raj Baral, Acting APO Director for Nepal, for their leadership during the GBM.
I would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate my gratitude to Minister of State for National Development and Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan, who gave insights into how the Singaporean economy developed from the early days to its advanced state today and for pointing out that productivity-driven growth still remains as relevant as ever.
Finally, I would like to convey my special gratitude to the host country Singapore, especially APO Director for Singapore and Chief Executive of SPRING Png Cheong Boon, APO Alternate Director for Singapore Dr. Woon Kin Chung, APO Liaison Officer for Singapore Rajespal Singh, and their teams of staff members who with dedication worked so effectively with the Secretariat on the preparations and logistical arrangements required for this very successful GBM.
I hope to see all of you at the next GBM in 2013. Once again, I thank all our members for the solidarity and support that you have shown for the APO and wish everyone a safe and pleasant journey home.