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Monthly Newsletter of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) – May 2010 issue

Monthly Newsletter of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) – May 2010 issue

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Published by: Mario Redentor Moslares on May 13, 2010
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 Printed on Recycled Paper
Malaysia hosts 52nd Governing Body Meeting
 p. 6, Training course, ROK  p. 5, Study mission, USA
he 52nd Session o the APO GoverningBody (GBM) took place in Kuala Lumpur,the Malaysian capital, 20−22 April 2010.The GBM brought together 50 delegates and ad-visers rom 19 member countries as well as eightobservers rom the Colombo Plan, Pan Arican Pro-ductivity Association, Kenya, Nigeria, and Turkey.This year’s GBM took up important agenda items.They included determining the amount o totalmembership contributions or the 2011 and 2012 biennium, reviewing the Secretariat’s proposedcost reductions, and electing a new APO Secretary-General who will assume the position rom Sep-tember this year.The meeting had a lively discussion on the APO preliminary budget or the 2011–2012 biennium. Due to the economic growth o member countries in 2006, 2007, and 2008, the apportionment o membership contributions had changed considerably. A number o countries saw their membership contributions increase by 20% to 30%, with a ew experiencing a 40% increase. At the end,the meeting approved a 0% increase in the amount o total membership contributions or 2011 and 2012, and the contributions bymember countries will continue to be calculated using the current contribution ormula. The meeting also agreed to undertake aconcurrent review o the membership calculation ormula by a task orce on a timetable to be decided by the Secretary-General.In explaining the cost reduction proposals submitted by the Secretariat, which would entail drastic salary cuts or all Secretariatsta members, Secretary-General Shigeo Takenaka stressed that sta were the most important assets to the organization. There-ore, the reduction should be seen as an emergency measure. The meeting adopted the proposal with the condition that these meas-ures would be reviewed within two years to ensure long-term sustainability o the organization and the morale o sta members.The Governing Body unanimously elected Ryuichiro Yamazaki to be the nextAPO Secretary-General. He has a long, distinguished career with the Ministry o Foreign Aairs o Japan, serving, among other posts, as Japan’s Ambassador toVietnam and the Philippines. Secretary-General designate Yamazaki will assumeoce rom mid-September 2010.The inauguration ceremony opened with a welcome address by Mohd. RazaliHussain, Director General o the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC).Ater welcoming the delegates and guests, Razali Hussain praised the APO or itscontribution to “the expansion o opportunities or cooperation and greater socio-economic development o countries in the Asia-Pacic region.” He also shared theMPC’s progress in leading the productivity movement nationwide: “The MPC, anagency under the Ministry o International Trade and Industry, has made signi-cant progress and advanced to become a ull-fedged productivity, innovation, andcompetitiveness organization with international linkages.”
(Continued on page 5)
Volume 40 Number 5 May 2010
 p. 8, KPC, ROK 
 APO Alternate Director Mohd. Razali Hussain delivers a welcoming addressat the GBM in Kuala Lumpur 20 April 2010.
 APO Secretary-General Shigeo Takenaka (L)chats with Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry Yang Berbahagia Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamad during a group photo session at the GBM 20 April 2010.
APO News
May 010
ter welcoming directors, advisers, andobservers to the 52nd Governing BodyMeeting (GBM), APO Secretary-GeneralShigeo Takenaka expressed gratitude to the Gov-ernment o Malaysia or hosting the meeting in“rapidly developing yet green” Kuala Lumpur. Healso thanked Director General Mohammad RazaliHussain, Malaysia Productivity Corporation,and his team or their hard work and meticulous preparations.An important item on the GBM’s agenda was adecision on the total membership contributions or 2011 and 2012, and the Secretary-General statedthat the Secretariat’s intention was to ensure thatthe 2011–2012 budget was substantially the sameas or 2008 because most member governmentswanted to maintain or expand APO activities.However, he acknowledged that member coun-tries whose economies did well in the last threeyears and whose membership contributions wouldconsequently increase might eel dierently andcalled the 52nd GBM “a good opportunity todwell on this issue and have a thorough discussionamong member governments.”To ameliorate the eects o the sharp rise in thevalue o the yen against the US dollar, he ex- plained that the consequent gap between revenueand expenditure in 2011 and 2012 would be lledalmost solely by reducing Secretariat personnelcosts, with an average salary reduction o 18%, inan eort to avoid major increases in the amounto membership contributions or some countries.“Because we can start the reduction measuresonly rom the beginning o July this year, theimpact in 2010 will be only hal o what we canexpect in 2011/2012,” he stated, which is why theSecretariat proposed tapping the working capitalund to cover the shortall in the 2010 budget. TheSecretary-General hoped that member govern-ments would understand the enormous impact o yen appreciation on administrative costs and theunprecedented sacrice that Secretariat sta were prepared to make.As the 2010 GBM was the nal one o his term,Secretary-General Takenaka summarized achieve-ments over the past six years rom the administra-tive and organizational perspective. First, he calledattention to the reorganization o the Secretariatrom six departments to our approximately threeyears ago. The layout change o the Secretariatoce in conjunction with the reorganization notonly avoided a rent hike by reducing the space by 25% but also acilitated communication andcooperation between departments. In hindsight,the Secretary-General believed that the commit-ment to continue the unctions o the abolishedEnvironment Department and Inormation andPublic Relations Department had been honored,since environment-related activities remainedvigorous and inormation and public relations hadimproved. For example, the English and JapaneseWeb sites covered more news in a more timelyashion, with more photos, and the number o visitors to the English site had doubled in the pastthree years.Second, the Secretary-General reerred to theintroduction o the perormance-based sta ap- praisal system three years ago, stating that, “I believe that the new system has contributed tothe improvement o the Secretariat’s overall work culture and sta motivation.” Appraisal o ocerswas assisted by the introduction o a new, moresystematic project report system in late 2006. Theormat covers six points, o which the nal one issuggestions and recommendations by the oicer or uture improvements and ollow-up. “It has become a very good medium or ocers to pro- pose new, innovative ideas within the Secretariat,” pointed out Secretary-General Takenaka, citingthe introduction o Category B/C projects and ex- pansion o e-learning projects as examples.The third point raised was progress in inancialdiscipline with greater clarity, eciency, and ac-countability. This allowed mid-year calculationso budget available or the rest o that year to holdadditional projects. In 2006 and 2007, eight ad-ditional projects were held; in 2008, our; and in2009, two. Secretariat oicers had also workedhard to avoid project postponements or cancel-lations, the Secretary-General noted, saying that,“The overall result has been to maximize the ben-ets to member governments.”Ater reviewing previous personnel cost-cuttingmeasures, Secretary-General Takenaka describedthe deep salary cuts currently proposed and hisconcern about their long-term impact. “In anorganization like the APO, the quality o peopleworking in the Secretariat plays a crucial role indetermining the quality o activities,” he statedand called sta members “the most important as-sets to any organization.” He elt that recruitingthe type o proessionals needed would not be a-cilitated by the personnel cost reduction measures.Thereore, the Secretary-General emphasized thatthe proposed measures were emergency ones andsought the understanding o member countriesater the situation had stabilized, when the salarycuts would be revised or long-term sustainability.Turning to revenue other than membership contri- butions, the Japanese government had to discon-tinue the special cash grant or the APO’s AricanProgram. Fortunately, the Government o the Re- public o China had stepped in to und it in 2010.Moreover, the Republic o Korea had resumed itsspecial cash grant program or 2010. “We trulyappreciate these generous gestures,” Secretary-General Takenaka said.As signiicant developments ater the last WSM,the Secretary-General cited the Eco-products In-ternational Fair held in Jakarta, Indonesia, in earlyMarch, which had more than 160 exhibitors andover 90,000 visitors. He thanked the Indonesiangovernment or its wholehearted cooperation.
Summary of the annual report ofthe Secretary-General to the GBM
Secretary-General Shigeo Takenaka
APO News
May 010
Comment board
 Shafq R. Bhuiyan
 , CSR Resource Mobi-lization, CSR Center, Bangladesh.
Participant, e-learning course on Knowledge Man-agement (KM) Concepts and Practice: Phase 2, 2– 5 March 2010.“Knowledge starts with people and ends with peo- ple. This is the most important thing we learnedrom the course. We are very thankul to the APOor organizing the course in which we learnedthat KM is nothing but the eective, systematictranser o knowledge through human networks. KM is not an entirely newconcept, but rather the targeted harmonization o knowledge as a actor o  production and the management o the organizational environment to sup- port individual knowledge transer to a collective knowledge base. With theimmense popularity o corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Bangladesh,eective implementation o KM can be an important tool to ensure smoothoperations or any organization to sustain itsel in the long term. On behal o the CSR Centre, we are quite optimistic about organizing customized work-shops on KM or private-sector organizations to support them in achievingcorporate excellence. The e-learning course was a worthwhile experience as itsurmounts geographic barriers. We look orward to the ace-to-ace course inBangladesh or a more comprehensive platorm or sharing and learning theeective practices o KM.”
 Abdul Rashid Bahri 
 , International Trade and Export, Federal Agri-cultural Marketing Authority, Malaysia.
Participant, multicountry observational study mission on Export Promotion o Agriood Products, Japan, 1–6 March 2010.“All participants could learn and share inormation and experiences regardingagriood export and promotion. The strategies adopted by dierent countries provided us with dierent dimensions and more options to replicate their success. Along with the speakers’ lectures on market penetration strategies, Iound the site visit programs very useul and helpul. The visit to Ota Whole-sale Market, in particular, was really inormative in that I learned how an auc-tioning system works, either manually or electronically. Since my country isin the nal process o introducing an electronic auctioning system in the reshruit and vegetable wholesale market in the middle o this year, the experience provided me with insights on how to develop the current system. The visit toFOODEX 2010 was also a great opportunity or me to see new, innovative products. I think that some o the items can be produced by our SMEs at morecompetitive costs. I am planning to make a presentation ocusing on new nd-ings and suggestions to improve our present system, which, I hope, will beimplemented by my organization.”
 Environmental Practitioner
 Eric A. Raymundo
 , Raymundo Environmental  Management, the Philippines.
Participant, training course or Energy Auditors, India, 22−26 March 2010.“The cutting-edge knowledge and skills acquired in the training course havehelped me build my condence, as well as that o my ellow participants, as practitioners in the eld o energy eciency (EE). The course was a ollow-up program to the e-learning course held in 2009 which provided basic knowl-edge and understanding o energy audits. Through this ace-to-ace trainingcourse, participants were exposed to practical issues, problems, and challengesthat we may encounter while conducting energy audits in the eld. Everythingthat I learned will denitely benet a project that I am currently working onin the Philippines, the Zero Carbon Resorts Project, ocusing on EE and re-newable energy. To enhance our competency in the eld, however, we needmore experience. Thereore, together with Marlon Pareja, a ellow course participant and technical program director o the De La Salle University Envi-ronment Department, we plan to work on a proposal or the NPO o the Phil-ippines to seek urther assistance rom the APO using its services such as theDevelopment o Demonstration Companies and Technical Expert Services.”Another development was the publication o the third
 APO Productivity Databook 
in early April, in which total actor productivity was comput-ed or seven member countries and labor productivity or 12. “This putsthe APO rmly on the map as a depository o reliable labor productivitystatistics on our region,” he declared. The last development was progressin research on knowledge management (KM). A trilogy o practicaltexts on KM, with the nal two scheduled or publication later this year,would make the APO “a unique center disseminating the benets o KMto SMEs around the world,” reported Secretary-General Takenaka.In concluding, the APO had become a “leaner, unctionally moreeicient, and inancially more disciplined organization,” stated theSecretary-General. “With the help o member governments, I canassure you that the Secretariat will continue to work hard to improveeiciency and increase beneits to our members,” he pledged andthanked member governments or their support during his Secretary-Generalship.The 52nd Session o theAPO Governing Bodyelected APO Director or the Republic o Ko-rea Dr. Dong Kyu Choi(2nd/L) as APO Chair or 2010–2011. APODirector or Lao PDR Somdy Inmyxai (C)and APO Alternate Director or Malaysia Mohd. Razali Hussain assumedthe position o First and Second Vice Chairs, respectively. On the let isAPO Administration and Finance Department Director Dr. A.K.P. Mochtan.
New APO Chair and Vice Chairs

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