ISLAMABAD: Asian Productivity Organisation (APO) Secretary General Dr Santhi Kanoktanaporn during his visit to Pakistan from February 19-21, 2018 held meetings with high level dignitaries including Industries & Production State Minister Sardar Muhammad Arshad Khan Leghari, Interior Federal Minister Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz, Mian Asad Hayaud Din, Industries & Production Additional Secretary (Incharge) Mian Asad Hayauddin and office bearers of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (CCI) and Islamabad CCI. Dr Santhi Kanoktanaporn said that APO vows to support Pakistan in skill development for innovation in productivity through its technical expert services for different sectors. He added that APO will promote bilateral and multilateral alliances among its 20 member countries. He also added that the private sector needed to be taken onboard to run an effective productivity movement in Pakistan. Ahsan Iqbal appreciated the APO for providing support to develop a framework for Pakistan Productivity, Quality & Innovation (PPQI) initiative by deputing Dr Woon, Kin Chung from Singapore in January 2017. Dr Santhi proposed that Pakistan should have a Strategic Foresight Unit in order to cope with the future challenges. The minister appraised the proposal of Dr Santhi and said that it can be developed under the umbrella of Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform with the support of technical expert services from APO. In another meeting with Sartaj Aziz, Dr Santhi highlighted the importance of NPOs in the developing countries. He stressed that National Productivity Organisations (NPOs) were playing a pivotal role in the national development of APO member countries eg NPOs in Singapore, Japan and Malaysia were playing vibrant roles in the growth of their countries. Similarly, NPO Pakistan should also be given a leading role for productivity improvement in Pakistan. NPO Pakistan CEO Abdul Ghaffar Khattak shared that they were working on multiple direction for productivity enhancement in the country eg NPO Pakistan had acquired APO technical support for developing demonstration companies in Pakistan to eliminate waste by selecting organisations from hospitality, food and engineering sectors, where handsome savings have been achieved. These demonstration companies will become role models for other similar organisations and will be replicated to achieve productivity. He also added that during the first phase of PPQI initiative, NPO intended to develop around 600 productivity practitioners. Published in Daily Times, February 22nd 2018.