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  Keynote Address by Y.B.Dato` Sri Mustapa Mohamed, At The 52nd Apo Governing Body Meeting (Apo Gbm) On 20 April 2010
   
 

• Honourable APO Governing Body Chairman, Mr Kazuo Sunaga,
• Honourable APO Secretary General, Mr Shigeo Takenaka,
• Distinguished Heads of National Productivity Organisations(NPOs),
• Observers from Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Turkey and Zambia
• Board of Directors of Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC)
• Mr Mohd Razali Hussain, Director General of MPC
• Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri -Tan Sri, Dato’-Dato’,

 Ladies and Gentlemen.

Assalamualaikum, Salam 1Malaysia, and Good afternoon 

1. I am indeed honoured to be invited to deliver this keynote address.  On behalf of Malaysia, I extend a very warm welcome, “Selamat Datang” to all our distinguished guests. It is a privilege for Malaysia to be hosting this high level 52nd APO Governing Body Meeting.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

2. Last month, our Honourable Prime Minister unveiled the New Economic Model (NEM). To ensure Malaysia forges ahead in meeting the challenges posed by the dynamic and changing global economy, the Malaysian Government had introduced various initiatives. The programmes which have been launched over the past one year is the 1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now concept to unite all Malaysians to face the challenges ahead and the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) to strengthen public services in the National Key Result Areas of crime, corruption, education, low income households, rural basic infrastructure and urban public transport. 


3. The NEM is expected to propel Malaysia to be an advanced nation with inclusiveness and sustainability in line with the goals set forth in Vision 2020 to be achieved through an Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). Featuring strongly in the NEM is the issue of greater reliance on productivity and innovation to drive growth.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

4. The old approach of growth through capital accumulation and sectoral transformation has become inadequate. Up to now, growth has come from large-scale physical capital investment, sustained human capital investment and manufactured exports, natural resource-based goods and petroleum products. At the same time, total factor productivity growth was achieved by a shift of workers from low-productivity sectors, like agriculture, to higher-productivity manufacturing and some service jobs. Merely increasing investment levels and the quantities of low skilled labour will no longer suffice to drive growth to a higher level or moving up the value chain. Future growth must come from higher factor productivity, nurtured by more innovative processes as well as supported by strong private investment and talent.

5. At the international level, Japan and Korea, the Asian countries who are members of OECD recorded productivity levels of USD77,640 and USD32,059 respectively in 2009, while selected OECD countries such as USA registered productivity levels of USD77,828, Norway (USD76,656), United Kingdom (USD58,733)and Germany (USD49,517). Among other APO member countries, Malaysia’s productivity level was USD12,793, Thailand (USD4,596), China (USD3,734), Philippines (USD3,192), Indonesia (USD2,471) and India (USD2,051). This gap in productivity level between the developed countries and member countries indicates that there are potential for growth and the initiatives by APO will augur well to ensure further development.

6. Several factors at both the macro and corporate levels helped facilitate Asia’s development. In the case of Malaysia, they included, among others, strong national development visions, plans and policies, accompanied by appropriate economic, business and investment stimulus packages. This is supported further by improvements in education, training and quality of the manpower as a whole; advancement in technology and technological skills and also overall improvements in infrastructure. Malaysia will continuously strive to enhance productivity growth through talent development, adoption of sophisticated technology, higher innovation capacity and capabilities as well as higher value creation through intensified research and development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

7. In the latest Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 2009-2010, Malaysia is ranked at 24th position, out of 133 countries globally. The 23 countries that are ahead of Malaysia are mainly developed countries which includes Asian countries such as Singapore ranked 3rd, Japan ranked 8th, Taiwan 12th, and Republic of Korea 19th. These countries are characterized with high GDP per capita and are in the innovation stage of development. Over the last 5 years, Malaysia had remained among the top 25 most competitive countries globally and is acknowledged by the World Economic Forum (WEF) that Malaysia benefits from the quality of its infrastructure; goods market efficiency, financial market sophistication, strong business sophistication and innovative potential. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

8. The majority of Asian economies such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam who had participated in the GCR report had been classified as factor-driven economies, offering labour at lower cost and unprocessed natural resources as the dominant basis of competitive advantage. Brunei and Indonesia are in the transition from factor-driven to efficiency-driven, while China, Malaysia and Thailand are efficiency-driven economies, producing more advanced products and services highly efficiently. The innovation-driven Asian economies such as Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan should be benchmarked by APO member countries for the ability to produce innovative products and services at the global technology frontier using the most advanced method.

9. Notwithstanding the short-term urgencies, WEF has mentioned that Malaysia must put emphasis on long-term competitiveness fundamentals to weather business cycle downturns and remain resilient. It is recommended by the WEF too, that for Malaysia to maintain its competitive edge, Malaysia now needs to prepare its conversion into an innovation-driven country where companies compete through innovation, producing new value-added and different goods using the most sophisticated production processes. The launch of 2010 as Malaysia’s Innovation and Creativity Year is an initiative by the Government to inculcate innovation as part of our culture. This together with the new economic model based on innovation, creativity and value-added activities would multiply the people’s per capita income in the next 10 years. This high income economy that Malaysia envisaged will have to be linked to further productivity growth.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

10. It is heartening to note that APO had gone beyond the Asian region to the African continent as part of renewed Asia-Africa ties, following the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Bandung Asia-Africa Conference which was held in 2005. At the Conference, the Government of Japan pledged to step up Asia-Africa ties, and among others, cooperation in productivity promotion in Africa utilizing the Asian experience. Against this background, the APO took up the task of assisting the capability to become an effective body to spearhead productivity movement in Africa.  This collaboration and cooperation is admirable in the spirit of “Together We Will Prosper Through Productivity”. To all observers to this meeting from Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Turkey and Zambia, we bid you all productive exchanges of ideas, views and experiences.

11. Finally, I wish all of you a fruitful discussion during these 3 days Governing Body Meeting which I understand will be deliberating on the strategic direction for the APO. I believe that with the strong collaboration, spirit of cooperation, connectivity and linkages established among the 19 member countries, the Asian region will be able to withstand global challenges and become a force to be reckoned with.

12. Productivity is a marathon without a finishing line. This can be inferred that the APO continued to be relevant and will bring about positive impact on productivity of NPOs. Productivity will continue to be featured prominently to ensure that Asia remains productive, competitive and innovative, which is even more compelling in the context of a highly competitive, globalized world such as today.

Thank you.
 

 
  Last updated on : 2010-04-27 04:47:57  
 
 
 
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