Reskilling policies must in Industry 4.0 era, says APO secretary general

We need to rethink how we can also shape the national productivity agendas of member countries, said APO chief Santhi Kanoktanaporn

GN Bureau | October 25, 2017


#modern economy   #industry   #national productivity   #trade   #APO   #energy  


 Countries in the Asia-Pacific region need to gear up and prepare themselves for transition to the Industry 4.0 era that will have a major impact on their economies and productivity, said Asian Productivity Organization (APO) secretary general Santhi Kanoktanaporn.

“With dramatic advances in technology shaping the economy of the future, we need to rethink how we can also shape the national productivity agendas of member countries,” said Santhi at the opening plenary session of the 58th Workshop Meeting of heads of National Productivity Organizations (NPOs) in Seoul, South Korea.
 
The WSM is the annual strategic planning meeting where APO member countries deliberate on the biennial program plan and review initiatives to ensure that they respond effectively to the needs of their economies. A current key APO focus area is building the capacity of member countries for strategic foresight planning, enabling them to anticipate changes in the dynamic global environment.
 
Highlighting the need for APO members to acquire foresight capabilities, Santhi pointed out that the disappearance of old jobs and the creation of new ones had been a constant since the birth of the modern economy, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution would be no exception.
“While it may be inconceivable that the technological revolution will leave no role for humans, we need to understand the key drivers of change well before the trends develop. Only then can we develop strategies to build flexibility into our policies to ensure that our economies are prepared for the transition to the digital economy,” he stressed.
 
South Korea’s deputy minister for industrial policy, ministry of trade, industry and energy Gunsu Park stated that the adoption of recent technologies like the Internet of Things, big data, and artificial intelligence had transformed facets of productivity enhancement. “It has become more common for productivity enhancement to significantly enhance value added through new services such as preemptive responses as accuracy in predictability increases, while maximizing efficiency in individual input factors,” he noted.
 
Emphasising that the role of the APO and NPOs had become more important than ever before the seamless spread of the 4th Industrial Revolution throughout Asia, including South Korea, as well as to achieve productivity enhancement and economic growth, the deputy minister pointed out the need to create a new productivity paradigm befitting the upcoming era of super connectivity or intelligence driven by the 4th Industrial Revolution.
 
Korean Productivity Center Chairman and CEO Soon Jick Hong said that the world was “standing at an inflection point in human history”, with advanced countries competing fiercely to dominate the 4th Industrial Revolution stage. “It is necessary for Korea and all APO member countries to take advantage of these changing times to take a leap forward,” he said.
 

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