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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Industries and Production Syed Murtaza Mahmud has said that the government is fully focused on facilitating the industrial sector and various industries operating in the country must focus on efficiency and productivity.

He said this while speaking at the inaugural session of International Conference on Productivity Accreditation and Certification for Pakistan organised to mark the diamond jubilee ceremony of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) jointly arranged by the National Productivity Organization (NPO) and the APO, here on Wednesday.

The conference is being attended by delegates from Cambodia, Malaysia, Fiji, Nepal, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Iran, and the Philippines.

The minister appreciated the APO’s role in the development of the Asia-Pacific region, saying in the 1980s Singapore and Malaysia turnaround their economies by implementing plans devised on the bases of productivity models.

He conveyed his gratitude to the APO Secretary-General on the APO’s Diamond Jubilee, adding that by working in tandem with similar organisations, the APO and the NPOs will be able to find solutions to long-standing problems of the region.

The minister said that the Government of Pakistan is very keen to focus on improving competitiveness and productivity. The only viable solution to overcome the economic challenges including low exports and higher imports through influx by the countries having higher productivity levels is the way to higher productivity. In this regard, the government has approved the PSDP-funded project of NPO “Improving Competitiveness through Sustainable National Productivity (SNP) as a part of Productivity Movement in Pakistan”.

This International Conference on Productivity Accreditation and Certification being held in Pakistan is the continuation of the commemoration of the APO’s Diamond Jubilee which will showcase the productivity improvement journeys in the Asia and Pacific region, specifically efforts to enhance the capabilities of NPOs through accreditation programmes.

Speaking on the occasion, Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, additional secretary, Ministry of Industries and Production said various rapid industrial transformation initiatives are being taken for the sustained growth and development of the economy by improving industrial competitiveness.

He said that APO is playing a major role to promote productivity drive in the region. APO’s services are reorienting the requirements of the current era of competitiveness both in the domestic and global markets and support export sectors in enhancing competitiveness and yielding higher productivity culture in the country. Appreciating the conference, he said this initiative will play a major role in the reversal of the economy through international certification standards implementation in Pakistan.

APO Secretary General Dr Indra Pradana Singawinata, while addressing the event, appreciated the efforts of the NPO and extended full support in facilitating and strengthening the APO’s mandate in Pakistan.

He said that it is a fortunate moment for representatives from the APO members to gather to review efforts to enhance the capabilities of the NPOs through accreditation programmes. The Accreditation Programme is one of the latest initiatives of the APO to raise its visibility as a leading productivity organization. Recognizing the competency and credibility of NPOs or their affiliates as APO-accredited Certification Bodies (CBs) will build APO brand awareness, cultivate and expand a community of experts, and strengthen APO leadership in the area of productivity.

Accreditation of NPOs is expected to elevate their capability, adding new skill sets and competencies that are critical for their countries.

NPO CEO Muhammad Alamgir Chaudhry said that APO Accredited Certification Body will provide new horizons to enhance productivity in Pakistan and thanked all the participants for attending the event. He wished APO Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The NPO CEO said that productivity, competitiveness and innovation are the key driving factors to compete globally. Pakistan seems low on productivity and there is a strong need to create awareness of the importance of productivity to the general public, the industry, and the academia.

Countries such as Singapore, Korea, Japan, China, and Malaysia are a few examples that transformed their economies based on improved productivity, competitiveness, and innovative strategies. Among other key success factors, top leadership commitment and massive campaign are the basic requirements in bringing a productivity culture. Similarly, the role of key stakeholders i.e. government, industry, academia, and employer federation is very important.

The NPO has taken some key strategic initiatives including, “Development of National Productivity Master Plan of Pakistan”, which is under process and being undertaken by the Korean Development Institute (KDI) through assistance from the APO.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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