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New Year message from the APO Secretary-General
Happy New Year! Looking back, 2014 was a successful, exciting year. We must now build on that success by focusing on high-impact areas in 2015.
The Center of Excellence (COE) Program continues to be a success story. The impact of the COE on Business Excellence (BE) under SPRING Singapore was felt beyond the region. The COE on Green Productivity (GP) under the China Productivity Center dispatched 18 technical missions to five member countries, among other significant achievements. We plan to launch a third COE this year.
Generous special cash grants from the Government of Japan benefited APO members and Myanmar in various areas of GP such as water management, future cities, and agriculture. I am confident that with more such grants, we can expand into other areas of interest addressing the needs of members.
In 2014, APO activities were covered more than 1,000 times in media across Asia and elsewhere, compared with 270 times in 2013. The APO website was revamped; this year an APO Portal will be created as a focal point for stakeholders.We will continue to increase organizational visibility and strengthen networks with productivity practitioners, governments, and other international organizations.
An example of outreach and cooperation was the signing of an MOU with Cornell University covering executive courses in agribusiness. We plan to maintain collaborations with the ADB, UN, and World Bank; explore cooperation with the OECD; renew relations with strategic African countries; and continue efforts to invite more Asian countries to become APO members. The APO is exploring acquiring videoconferencing facilities for more efficient e-learning and other IT-based projects.
The foundations of the draft APO Roadmap and GP 2020 will gradually be built upon this year to contribute to national policymaking and sustainable, inclusive growth in member economies. Both are being fine-tuned for discussion at the next Governing Body Meeting. This will enable the APO to develop projects that make tangible differences in productivity levels, which can in turn result in a better quality of life for all.
I wish you all a happy, prosperous, productive 2015.