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Congratulatory Message at the Inaugural Session
by Ryuichiro Yamazaki
Your Excellency Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina;
Mr. K.H. Massud Siddiqui, Secretary of the Ministry of Industries and APO Country Director for Bangladesh;
The Honourable Khandher Mosharraf Hossain, Minister of Labour & Employment;
The Honourable Begum Matia Chowdhury, Minister of Agriculture;
The Honourable Dilip Barua, Minister of Industries;
Mr. Mohammad Jawaid Yahya, President of the APO Society of Bangladesh;
Representatives from the private sector, civil society, and academia;
Members of the diplomatic corps and government agencies of Bangladesh; and
Ladies and Gentlemen:
A pleasant good morning to you all.
First, let me extend my warmest congratulations to the Government of Bangladesh and the National Productivity Organisation (NPO) for organizing the first Multilateral Conference on the Productivity Movement in Bangladesh. This multilateral conference marks a significant milestone for both the government and the NPO, as it showcases the fruits of the country’s productivity programs over the years along with the government’s plans for the future. It also brings together key productivity stakeholders from the public and private sectors, trade organizations, labor unions, academia, civil society, and other relevant agencies that have all contributed to the country’s socioeconomic development.
I joined the Asian Productivity Organization as the ninth Secretary-General in September 2010, just one year ago. Since then I have participated in quite a few activities organized by our member countries’ national productivity organizations throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Today marks the first time I am addressing an audience in Bangladesh as the APO Secretary-General. I am profoundly honored to be doing so during a historic event that commemorates the contributions of the productivity movement to Bangladesh’s economic development since joining the APO in 1983. I am pleased to note that Bangladesh has done well in improving its labor productivity, which, according to the 2011 APO Productivity Databook, increased an average of 4% annually from 2005 to 2008. The APO, by partnering with the government and the NPO, established in 1989, is proud to be part of Bangladesh’s history of socioeconomic development. In 2010 alone, the NPO has facilitated the participation of over 350 Bangladeshi professionals in various APO training courses, seminars, and e-learning courses to build up its national development capacity in such key areas as knowledge management, energy management, food safety management systems, market access for SMEs, and ecotourism. As the country’s leader in productivity enhancement for 29 years, I am confident that the NPO will continue to be an effective beacon of progress as Bangladesh moves toward its transformation into a mid-level-income country by 2021. The APO, for its part, remains ready to provide capacity-building knowledge that will enable the NPO to improve productivity in the country’s industry, service, agriculture, and public sectors.
In these times of dynamic changes in both the demand and supply aspects of the global market, it is imperative for countries to remain firmly on the track of innovation and productivity enhancement, while maintaining relevance and responsiveness to their domestic socioeconomic concerns. The national productivity organizations of APO member countries, like the NPO of Bangladesh, are critical players in the development process, as confirmed by the APO’s 50 years of experience. At the same time, the continued commitment demonstrated by the Government of Bangladesh to the productivity movement is inspiring to all members of the APO. In this vein, this multilateral conference is indeed an important step forward demonstrating the government’s commitment to synergizing national support from all its stakeholders.
There is no end to the quest for improvement by any country seeking to address the socioeconomic and environmental challenges associated with progress. However, sustainable socioeconomic development based on productivity enhancement, driven by innovation, and inspired by the ideals of human development can be achieved. This is the aspiration of Bangladesh, which is shared by all APO members.
The APO Secretariat and other member countries look forward to learning from the outcome of this multilateral conference. I am confident that under the leadership of Her Excellency Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her cabinet, the productivity movement in Bangladesh is ready to explore new horizons and scale new heights to contribute even more to the country’ sustainable socioeconomic development. My congratulations once again and best wishes for a truly successful conference today. Thank you.