JAPAN - Media OutReach - 9 June 2021 - As
the economic and humanitarian crises in the second year of the COVID-19
pandemic escalate to epic proportions and the world reels at the grim prospects
of viral variants described as "far more deadly" by the WHO, the 21 countries
that make up the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) offer a sliver of hope
by declaring their resolve to continue the productivity movement, leveraging it
to guide the region through new, harsh challenges in the years ahead.
Survival is paramount.
Enterprises and SMEs must be resilient and the workforce adaptable to new
workstyles and new types of business. Productivity is the foundation of this
survival, not only for becoming more competitive but also in the broader,
philosophical sense of "making tomorrow better than today."
Drawing upon its 60 years
of engagement in Asia and the Pacific, the APO crystallizes the key lessons of
its six decades of journey in a joint statement, "The Tokyo Statement on the
Centrality of Productivity." Issued at the conclusion of its 63rd Governing
Body Meeting on 9 June 2021, the statement serves as a beacon to traverse a
The statement outlines
key priority targets of the APO for 2021–2025. Those targets support the APO
Vision 2025 in striving for "inclusive, innovation-led productivity growth in
Asia and the Pacific."
The priority targets
cover four broad areas. The first is leveraging new drivers of productivity. In
today's extraordinary circumstances, productivity improvement efforts must yield
extraordinary results. New drivers that include innovation, advanced
technologies, and digitalization are expected to lead to exponential
The second involves
enhancing productivity tools, techniques, and methodologies. Upgrading and
upskilling are imperative given ongoing rapid, dynamic changes. New business
styles, new work styles, and new business platforms have become the norms.
Productivity tools, techniques, and methodologies must therefore be
continuously updated to support the latest trends.
Third is making
productivity more inclusive. This means broadening the outreach and applications
of productivity to embrace persons with different abilities, in addition to
women, youth, and socially vulnerable groups.
The fourth priority is
strengthening National Productivity Organizations as the premiere productivity-promoting
institutions, equipping them to be policy partners for their governments.
The Tokyo Statement
underlines a renewed commitment to the mutual cooperation that has been the
hallmark of the APO. The full text is available at: www.apo-tokyo.org.