Milestones in the APO's History
The 1st Asian Roundtable Productivity Conference was held 1959.
The 1st Asian Round Table Productivity Conference is held in Tokyo, Japan. An interim committee is assigned to draft a convention for the formation of an Asian productivity body.
→ Click here for the convention on the APO
[1960s] Decade of Establishment
The APO Started its Agricultural Program in 1966.
The 2nd Asian Round Table Productivity Conference is held in Manila, the Philippines. The draft convention is adopted as the charter of the Asian Productivity Organization.
The APO is formally established with eight founding members: the Republic of China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, and Thailand. The inaugural session of the APO Governing Body is held in Tokyo and the first Secretary-General is appointed. Technical Expert Services (TES) are started and the monthly newsletter Asian Productivity is launched.
A conference of productivity center directors is held in Kathmandu, Nepal. Technical Enquiry Services start.
Symposia and seminars are introduced. A study mission is sent outside Asia to the USA, UK, and Denmark. Hong Kong joins the APO.
A reciprocal relationship agreement is signed with the International Labour Organization. The Ford Foundation provides a grant for a Small Business Management Trainers' and Consultants' course.
The Republic of Vietnam and Iran join the APO. The quarterly Productivity Digest starts publication.
Ceylon (later Sri Lanka) joins the APO. The Agriculture Program starts.
The Government of Japan grants the APO official status as an international organization. A meeting is held in Hong Kong on the APO's 1st Five-Year Plan.
Indonesia joins the APO.
The 1st Five-Year Plan comes into effect. A regional Information Unit is established in Manila. Singapore joins the APO.
[1970s] Decade of Consolidation
The APO began its commercial publication program in 1971.
The APO's 10th anniversary is celebrated by declaring 1970 Asian Productivity Year. The 1st Asian Productivity Congress is held in Tokyo, and the Declaration on Productivity for the Asian Region is adopted.
Previous activities are reviewed by economists and productivity specialists, who identify new projects. The commercial publication program is launched with the sales of books through international distributors.
The 1st Expert Meeting on Productivity Measurement is organized to examine the relationship between total factor productivity and economic development. The ADB and USAID offer financial grants to the APO.
The 1st Workshop on Productivity measurement is held in Singapore.
The important role of technology in economic development had been incorporated in APO projects by the mid-70s.
The Research and Planning Program starts operations.
The 17th GBM adopts the institutional capacity building of NPOs and focus on enterprise-level productivity as policies.
The importance of technology for economic development is recognized. Non-ESCAP members' participation in APO projects is welcomed under a special fund from the Government of Japan. S.D. Ashanta of Nepal wins the APO's flag design contest.
The APO Awards are established to honor regional productivity champions.
The Bilateral Cooperation between NPOs Program is launched. The 1st roster of Asian experts is compiled for the TES Program.
1st APO Awards are conferred on nine individuals. Participant evaluation of training courses begins to improve quality.
[1980s] Decade of Expansion
APO focus was on the link between firm-level and trade union activities and productivity in the early 1980s.
2nd Asian Productivity Congress is held in Hong Kong to mark the APO’s 20th anniversary.
The APO focuses on illustrating the link between productivity and economic growth.
Bangladesh joins the APO.
Malaysia joins the APO.
Fiji joins the APO.
The APO Awards are renamed the APO Regional Awards, and the APO National Awards are introduced.
Agroindustry interface activities started in the mid-1980s to enhance links between the two sectors.
The APO's 25th anniversary is marked with an International Productivity Congress in Kuala Lumpur.
The Productivity Fellowship is launched.
1st Strategic Planning Committee meeting is hosted by the Secretariat.
Basic Research V on Human Resources Development in the 1990s is started. Five individuals receive the APO National Award and two the Regional Award.
[1990s] Decade of Leadership
SME development had become a new thrust area by end of the 1990s.
APO projects are reclassified. The State of Western Australia, given observer status in 1989, hosts the Symposium on Tripartism in Perth for APO members.
The APO's 30th anniversary is marked with an International Productivity Congress in Bangkok, where the Bangkok Declaration on Productivity for a Better Quality of Work Life is adopted.
Mongolia joins the APO.
Cleaner production becomes a focus. The Productivity Journal begins publication.
The Special Program for the Environment is launched, and the concept of Green Productivity developed.
The South-South Cooperation for Supporting Industry Assistance Program is launched.
Vietnam joins the APO. The Integrated Community Development approach is initiated. The World Conference on Green Productivity is held in Manila.
The APO signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Industry and Environment Programme Activity Center.
Links are established with the Asian Pacific Round Table on Cleaner Production, UNEP, US-Asia Environment Partnership, and Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft.
Two new thrust areas are designated: Development of SMEs and Integrated Community Development. IT activities are enhanced.
[2000s] Decade of Innovation
Green Productivity promotes environmental considerations while pursuing economic development.
The first external evaluation of APO projects is conducted by independent experts; a bimonthly Japanese edition of the APO News is published; and the Secretariat moves from Aoyama to Hirakawa-cho.
The APO's 40th anniversary is marked with the First International Conference on Productivity in the e-Age in New Delhi, along with the International Forum for SMEs.
2nd World Conference on Green Productivity is held in Manila. Lao PDR joins the APO.
First APO web-based videoconferencing project on TQM is organized.
Kuala Lumpur hosts the 1st Eco-products International Fair organized by the APO and others. Cambodia joins the APO. The One Village, One Product movement becomes part of the Agriculture Program.
APO joins the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Africa.
Eco-Products International Fair,Bangkok.
Bangkok hosts the 2nd EPIF.
The APO Regional Award is conferred on four individuals and the APO National Award on ten.
After a productivity conference in Sandton, South Africa, cooperation with the Pan African Productivity Association takes off. Singapore hosts the 3rd EPIF.
APO adopts Community-based Rural Tourism as part of the ICD program.
An International Productivity Conference in Bangkok focuses on knowledge management.
Cosponsored by FAO, the APO organizes the Southeast Asian Regional Conference on Agricultural Value Chain Financing in Kuala Lumpur.
The EPIF in Hanoi attracts nearly 100,000 visitors. An Observational Study Mission to Switzerland on Quality and Innovation is implemented with JETRO support, and the first self-e-learning course on the Balanced Scorecard launched.
APO conducts a Study Mission to a Nonmember Country (France) on Export Promotion and Market Access for Processed Agri-food Products.
The first edition of the APO Productivity Databook series is published.
The APO participates in the Conference on the Global Economic Crisis in Tainan, Republic of China. Manila hosts the 5th EPIF.
A Study Mission to a Nonmember Country on Exporting Processed Agrifood Product is held in Germany.
Asian Quarterly Growth Map is introduced.
A study mission to Germany on GLOBALGAP is organized by the APO. New Secretary-General Ryuichiro Yamazaki is appointed, replacing outgoing Secretary-General Shigeo Takenaka. Jakarta hosts the 6th EPIF.
To mark its golden jubilee, the APO adopts new mission, vision, and thrust areas for 2020. The APO Regional Award is conferred on five individuals, including 12th President of the Republic of the Philippines Fidel V. Ramos, and the APO National Award on seven. New Delhi hosts the 7th EPIF.