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Reskilling policies a productivity must in Industry 4.0 era, says APO Secretary-General

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Source: Media Outreach
Headline: Reskilling policies a productivity must in Industry 4.0 era, says APO Secretary-General
APO’s 58th Workshop Meeting of Headsof National Productivity Organizations begins in Seoul, Republic of Korea.The annual strategic planning meetingto review initiatives for 2018 and deliberate on the program plan for the2019−20 biennium.

TOKYO, JAPAN – Media OutReach – 24 October 2017 – Countries in theAsia-Pacific region need to gear up and prepare themselves for transition tothe Industry 4.0 era that will have a major impact on their economies andproductivity. (L-R) APO Secretary-General Santhi Kanoktanaporn, ROK Deputy Minister for Industrial Policy, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy Dr. Gunsu Park, and Korean Productivity Center Chairman and CEO Dr. Soon Jick Hong at the inaugural session of the 58th Workshop Meeting of Heads of National Productivity Organizations in Seoul, Republic of Korea, 24 October 2017.

“Withdramatic advances in technology shaping the economy of the future, we need torethink how we can also shape the national productivity agendas of membercountries,” said Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Secretary-General SanthiKanoktanaporn at the opening plenary session of the 58th Workshop Meeting (WSM)of Heads of National Productivity Organizations (NPOs) in Seoul, Republic ofKorea (ROK).

TheWSM is the annual strategic planning meeting where APO member countriesdeliberate on the biennial program plan and review initiatives to ensure thatthey respond effectively to the needs of their economies. A current key APOfocus area is building the capacity of member countries for strategic foresightplanning, enabling them to anticipate changes in the dynamic globalenvironment.

Highlightingthe need for APO members to acquire foresight capabilities, Dr. Santhi pointedout that the disappearance of old jobs and the creation of new ones had been aconstant since the birth of the modern economy, and the Fourth IndustrialRevolution would be no exception.

“Whileit may be inconceivable that the technological revolution will leave no rolefor humans, we need to understand the key drivers of change well before thetrends develop. Only then can we develop strategies to build flexibility intoour policies to ensure that our economies are prepared for the transition tothe digital economy,” he stressed.

ROKDeputy Minister for Industrial Policy, Ministry of Trade, Industry and EnergyDr. Gunsu Park graced the WSM as its guest of honor. During his inauguraladdress, he stated that the adoption of recent technologies like the Internetof Things, big data, and artificial intelligence had transformed facets ofproductivity enhancement. “It has become more common for productivityenhancement to significantly enhance value added through new services such aspreemptive responses as accuracy in predictability increases, while maximizingefficiency in individual input factors,” he noted.

Emphasizingthat the role of the APO and NPOs had become more important than ever beforethe seamless spread of the 4th Industrial Revolution throughout Asia, includingthe ROK, as well as to achieve productivity enhancement and economic growth,the Deputy Minister pointed out the need to create a new productivity paradigmbefitting the upcoming era of super connectivity or intelligence driven by the4th Industrial Revolution.

DeputyMinister Park also highlighted the joint establishment of the ManufacturingInnovation 3.0 initiative by the government and private sector in 2013, beforediscussions on the 4th Industrial Revolution started. “This has initiated theindustrial innovation movement to support productivity innovation by SMEs.Setting up smart factories through the convergence of manufacturing and ICT wasa major achievement of the industry innovation movement. The concept had beenapplied to a total of 2,800 smart factories by the end of 2016, and the targetis to support 20,000 companies by 2022,” the Deputy Minister reported.

Inwelcoming WSM delegates, Korean Productivity Center Chairman and CEO Dr. SoonJick Hong said that the world was “standing atan inflection point in human history,” with advanced countries competingfiercely to dominate the 4th Industrial Revolution stage. “It is necessary forKorea and all APO member countries to take advantage of these changing times totake a leap forward,” he explained, while appreciating the APO’s contributionto expanding opportunities for cooperation and greater socioeconomicdevelopment of its members.

The three-day WSM, which commenced on 24 October, isattended by NPO representatives, agriculture delegates, and advisers from 19APO members,along with observers from international partner organizations.

Published and distributed with permission of Media-Outreach.com.

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