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Welcome Address at the Opening Program
by Ryuichiro Yamazaki
Mr. Somdy Inmyxai, Chair of the APO Governing Body, Dr Guo-Ming Wang, Managing Director of the China Productivity Center (CPC), Dr. Pao Cheng Chang, President of CPC
Ladies and Gentlemen:
A pleasant morning to you all.
This year, the APO commemorates a half-century of supporting productivity capacity building by its members. The special 50th Anniversary Publication project to commemorate the APO’s Golden Jubilee is made possible by a special grant generously provided by the Government of the ROC. The publication will not only reflect the APO’s history and achievements but also point the way forward for the organization in its next decade.
Fifty years ago, when the founding members of the APO convened in Manila to establish this intergovernmental organization as the prime mover in the productivity movement in the Asia-Pacific region, they forged a commitment to mutual sharing and support, transcending differences in their stages of economic development, in political ideologies, and in cultural backgrounds. The APO set out to fulfill its mission of contributing to the socioeconomic progress of its members through sharing of innovations, best practices, and expertise that could be useful in raising productivity.
The APO has been evolving: it strengthened its structure and expanded its membership and network in the 1970s; enhanced its relevance to members’ economic development in the 1980s; reaffirmed its leadership in advocating productivity in the 1990s; and, with its innovations during the last decade, has taken the productivity movement to new heights by introducing productivity-enhancing activities aligned with the pressing needs created by faster, deeper globalization.
The session this morning is the introductory part of the three-day Coordination Meeting on the Special APO 50th Anniversary Publication Project. There will be a launch ceremony this afternoon to be graced by the Premier of the ROC and high-ranking officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Trade and Industry. In this morning’s session, the APO Secretariat and our Chief Expert Dr. Tsu-Tan Fu will enlighten the rest of the project team on the context, rationale, goal, and scope of the project. In the next two days, the experts will be divided into three groups, following the three-part outline of the book, with the objective of reaching a consensus on the scope of the project, the methodology for the study, and the timeline for the publication process. Chief Expert Dr. Fu has designated two other experts to facilitate the workshops, with assistance from APO Secretariat program officers.
We hope that this three-day conference will not only benefit the APO as we try to ensure the smooth execution of the project but also be a springboard for all of you to enhance your own professional networks. In a few months’ time, the special APO anniversary publication will be completed, and we will all return to Taipei next year to participate in an International Productivity Conference where the book will be made public. With the CPC and Dr. Fu at the helm of this endeavor and with the calibre of the distinguished experts, we are confident that the publication process will proceed smoothly. At the conclusion of this project, we will have both tangible proof of the close partnership between the ROC and APO and an indispensable publication that provides practical insights and useful knowledge worthy of integration into APO programs throughout the next decade.
On behalf of the APO membership, I would like to reiterate our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Government of the ROC, a pioneering and progressive member of the APO, for providing the special grant that has made it possible for us to assemble the impressive and highly qualified team of experts here today. I would like to acknowledge the CPC for its leadership, zeal, and commitment in undertaking this year-long project.
I also recognize the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the ROC for their vision of promoting innovation and sustainable productivity, as they were the dynamos behind this project. The APO shares the ROC’s vision, and along with all member economies, we will certainly contribute to innovation-led productivity growth in the region in the next decade.
I would also like to thank the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan for its proactive assistance in facilitating this anniversary publication project.
I am confident that everyone here today will fully enjoy the hospitality offered by our gracious hosts during these next three days.
Thank you very much.