The forum brought together stakeholders with global perspectives to share experiences, address policy challenges to productivity growth, and discuss the implementation of productivity-enhancing policies. Specifically, the forum tried to serve as a platform to address the following objectives:
A. Review the trends in and the future of global sustainable productivity.
B. Analyze sources of productivity growth in a knowledge and technology driven economy.
C. Understand the role of public institutions and policies in enhancing productivity.
D. Discuss best practices and frontier-research findings on productivity.
There were 13 papers presented with different themes but centrally focused on productivity.
OBJECTIVES FOR PARTICIPATION
I applied for qualification to attend the said forum because of the following objectives and expectations:
A. Awareness and understanding of the latest trends on world class sustainable productivity.
B. Additional skills and tools on finding productivity improvement opportunities.
C. Benchmark from other industries on best practices on productivity improvement.
D. Interaction with fellow participants of the same field of interest.
I find the forum relevant to my industry and my work because productivity is a key metric in our operations.
The activity was massively attended by around 300 productivity practitioners all across Malaysia. Of the 300 participants, 36 are representatives from the 15 APO member countries who joined.
LILIAN G. BONDOC, PhD
OIC, Policy Coordination and Monitoring Division
DOST – PCAARRD
MARIA CRISELDA R. SY
DOLE – NWPC
BENJAMIN L. ARSUA
Manager, Systems Engineering and Operations Metrics
DEL MONTE PHILIPPINES, INC.
SCOPE, CONTENT, METHODOLOGY
The 3-day forum have 2 days spent on presentations of subject experts and culminates on the third day with a workshop with the 36 participants from the 15 APO member countries tackling key insights and action steps moving forward. All presentations of the subject experts culminate with a question and answer portion where participants has the opportunity to clarify thoughts on the subject and or share experience. Aside from the individual presentations, every end of the day, a panel discussion is also facilitated discussing the subjects presented earlier in the day.
During the workshop, I was a member of the PVT (Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand) group and I delivered the report of our group.
The subjects presented by the resources persons are listed below.
1. Sustaining Productivity Growth: The key in meeting global challenges
Mr. Scott Jacobs
Jacobs, Cordova & Associates
Highlight: Key facts and trends in regulatory practices and their implications to productivity including overall quality of regulations. Issues on regulatory institutions and regulatory environment, reforms needed to improve productivity, innovation and diffusion of public policies and services/programs, etc. was stressed to understand the challenges in sustaining productivity growth both from national and global perspectives.
2. Reflection on Taiwan’s Higher Education Policies Towards Productivity Growth
Professor Chuing Prudence Chou
Department of Education
National Chengchi University (NCCU) Taiwan
Republic of China
Highlight: The presentation illustrated how Taiwan’s higher education policies have responded to the forces of globalizaton, the neo-liberal economic ideology, and the worldwide trend towards greater international competition in higher education and in the last two decades and its implication to productivity growth and economic prosperity.
3. Regulatory and competition issues in ASEAN and its implications to Productivity Growth.
Dr. Sufiah Jusoh
Investment Law and Policy Expert
The World Bank
Highlight: The presentation discusses how regulations are made in the ASEAN region and the application of the Good Regulatory Practice (GRP). The discussion focused on the GRP initiative in ASEAN and how it is being implemented in certain member states. The paper looked into the application of the GRP in the formation of investment policies in Myanmar and Laos PDR and their potential impact on the private sector investments.
4. Monitoring Organizational Performance and Its Implications to Sustainable Productivity.
Mr. Mohan Dhamotharan
Highlight: The presentation highlights the importance of organizational performance for strengthening capacities for sustainable productivity. It focused on a holistic perspective on key dimensions of organization performance referring to individual competencies as well as organizational capabilities. Mechanisms and challenges for monitoring organizational performance was also discussed.
5. Radical Approach to Regulatory Reform to Achieve Productivity Growth and Competitiveness: Korean Experience
Professor Jin-Wook Choi
Department of Public Administration
Highlight: The presentation introduced the regulatory reform efforts of the Korean government to cope with the slowdown in growth potential. In doing so, the presentation showed the attempts to assess the achievements and remaining challenges of regulatory reform strategies in Korea.
6. Smart Community 2050
Ms. Hazami Habib
Chief Executive Officer
Academy of Science Malaysia
Highlight: It is a presentation of Malaysia’s vision to be among the global elites and the recognition that it is only achievable through its people, the decisions made today and leveraging on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). Malaysia 2050 comprises of Smart Communities where people live in harmonious, prosperous and sustainable milieu. ASM (Academy of Sciences Malaysia) has started this since 2009 to help Malaysians achieve the vision.
7. Restructuring Existing Workforce Towards Higher Skilled Workers
Mr. Muhamed Ali Hajah Mydin
Chief Executive Officer
Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC)
Highlight: It introduced the concept of Industry 4.0 and the different fields of expertise that is essential to it. The current fields of electronics, electrical, mechanical engineering, pneumatics and so on will not be enough for employees working in an Industry 4.0 factories. The topic discussed the nine (9) pillars of the Industry 4.0 and what type of skills and methods need to be adopted to have a successful up-skilling and reskilling of employees.
8. Productivity Gains of Industry 4.0 and the Chemical Industry
Mr. Lim Yew Heng
Partner and Managing Director
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
Highlight: It explains what Industry 4.0 is and why is it changing the manufacturing of chemical industry. It addressed the question on how industry players harness Industry 4.0 to improve productivity. The presentation includes examples of concrete cases and learning lessons for people keen to drive productivity improvement via Industry 4.0.
9. Mind the Gap: How Inter-Industry Linkages Promote Productivity
Dr. Mohd Yusof Saari
Universiti Putra Malaysia
Highlight: Emphasized the interconnected of the different industries in an economy. Growth in one sector also means growth in other sectors involved in the supply chain of that sector. It is important to note of this linkages to be able to pinpoint specifically the needed interventions by sector.
10. Empowering Associations to Support Enterprise-Level Productivity
Mr. Michael Tan
Chief Executive Officer
Singapore Productivity Centre (SPC)
Highlight: It stresses the importance of sector productivity and ultimately enterprise level productivity as key drivers of country level productivity growth in these times of increased velocity and complexity. It cites as an example a small nation called Singapore where the need for “all hands on deck” is greater to help enterprises transform to be more lean and competitive. In the enterprise transformation journey, it has identified the role of associations as vital being the receptacle, multiplier and enabler to support enterprise level productivity. Big portion of the presentation was spent on the changing roles of association and how they support enterprises under the key transformation pillars.
11. Future-oriented Competency Development
Mr. Mohan Dhamotharan
Highlight: It stresses the demand for rapid change at all levels of a society given the global challenges, economically and socially. This economic and social conditions we are in we describe as VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) necessitates a future centered competency development of professionals. This requires a multi-dimensional understanding of competency as well as innovative competency development interventions.
12. Big Data: Internet of Things and its Implications to Sustainable Productivity Growth
Professor Dr. Khong Kok Wei
Faculty of Social Sciences, Nottingham
University Business School, Malaysia
Highlight: The presentation presents an overview of big data and the state of data science. It also looked into the state of IOT (Internet of Things) and the sources of data available in this present time. It further delves into the components of a high performance-data-driven digital enterprise as an essential business model to enhancing productivity and growth. It culminates with the discussion on the emergence of machine learning in data analytics and its implications to sustainable productivity and growth.
OUTCOMES AND EVALUATION
The activities were facilitated smoothly by the host organization and host country. Time frame was followed and the objectives of the different sessions I think were met satisfactorily.
Below are my insights coming out of the International Forum on Productivity.
1. The government plays a key role in driving national productivity. Policies that hamper productivity needs to be revisited and changed for the better. Policy makers are drivers of national productivity.
2. Industry 4.0 is the economy of the future. This is where countries will be heading to. While it has the potential to drive productivity significantly, most countries are not ready yet. Good thing though that most has drafted their own road map towards Industry 4.0.
3. One of the biggest gaps towards Industry 4.0 is the competency of the human capital. There is a gap between what the industry needs and what the academe produces. This is a big challenge for the educational sector.
4. Economic growth is interconnected. Growth of one sector means growth also of other sectors that’s included in the supply chain of that sector. It is very important to take a systems view on productivity improvement to identify the small pieces that makes up the entire system so that specific interventions can be made. When you improve one sector, it will drive also other sectors. The linkage is very important.
5. Productivity improvement will not happen solely by people at the top. Government alone cannot make it. Empowering different sectors to improve sectoral productivity to enterprise level will drive total productivity. Talking to people (teams, associations) and working with them on solutions is key.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND NEXT STEPS
Given the insights I got from the forum, my recommendations are:
1. APO to come up with a common metric for Industry 4.0. Each member country will do a baseline study relative to the common metric.
2. Member country to draft a road map to Industry 4.0.
3. APO to come up with a system on how to foster commitment from member countries.
4. Use “big brother-small brother” approach to level the grounds towards productivity improvement.
5. Increase frequency of knowledge exchange and transfer including technology exchange for APO member countries.
Del Monte Philippines, Inc.
(to know more about the forum, please contact Mr. Arsua at arsuabl @ delmonte-phil.com)