The launch of Fiji’s first-ever National Productivity Master Plan 2021-2036 will set new pathways for Fiji’s productivity as well as assist in the reduction of the unemployment rate in the country, according to the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Honourable Parveen Kumar.
The Master Plan was handed by the Asian Productivity Organisation (APO) to the Honourable Minister in Suva last night.
Honourable Kumar described the document as a remarkable collaborative achievement of the government of Fiji with the APO. According to him, the Master Plan is expected to usher a new era of productivity in Fiji.
“It is timely to have this handing over as we look forward to integrating and implementing this through the yearly national budget. Our national budget was announced just last week making this event even more timely,” said Honourable Kumar.
“As a responsible government, we are responsible to establish the right culture to drive success. With such a master plan we can take an integrated approach to find solutions and address productivity issues,” he added.
Honourable Kumar further continued that the government will now engage with key stakeholders in formulating a comprehensive and specific action plan to maximize productivity.
“I urge all stakeholders to take ownership of this masterplan and work with us to fulfil the dreams of all Fijians,” he said.
“I am grateful to APO for assisting Fiji in developing Fiji’s first ever national productivity master plan that will guide us and all sectors in Fiji to thrive to their full potential.”
The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations also commended Fiji National University’s (FNU) National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC) for promoting productivity in Fiji.
“Productivity cannot be achieved individually or in isolation, it requires total commitment from all sectors of the economy, it requires reforms, innovations, specific directions, monitoring, identifying problems, planning and control and most importantly an effective workforce built around productive mindsets.”
Fiji became a member of the Asian Productivity Organisation thirty-five years ago.
APO is an organisation that aims to contribute to the sustainable socioeconomic development of Asia and the Pacific through enhancing productivity. “I am told that the APO consists of 19 economies and we are proud that we are the only Pacific island member country that is part of this organisation. Over
the years we have maintained our relationship and we look forward to many more years of being part of this regional, intergovernmental organisation,” said Honourable Kumar.
APO Secretary-General Dr Santhi Kanoktanaporn while presenting Fiji’s new master plan said when leading efforts to ensure economic growth, it is important for governments to align policy initiatives with overall strategic directions while managing resources efficiently.
“It is also crucial to ensure that comprehensive national development policies are supported by an environment where innovation and technology are promoted and encouraged, jobs are created, and the quality of life for all continues to improve,” said Dr Kanoktanaporn.
In 2018, the APO launched the Specific National Program to address the needs of individual member countries to improve productivity and competitiveness for sustainable socio-economic growth.
The development of the Fiji National Productivity Master Plan 2021–2036 is part of APO efforts under this initiative.
Dr Kanoktanaporn revealed that Fiji is the second member country after Cambodia for which a National Productivity Master Plan was drafted.
FNU’s National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC) Director Dr Isimeli Tagicakiverata said they have been working in collaboration with the APO and the Ministry of Employment, Productivity & Industrial Relations in preparing the national productivity master plan 2021-2036 for over nine months.
“It was around this time last year when then Permanent Secretary Salaseini Daunabuna and I agreed that our 2005 Charter was long overdue for review and we felt that we needed to rethink and re-strategize our productivity priorities and align these with the Fiji Governments’ 5 to 20-year National
Development plans. So we contacted APO because we knew that we needed an overarching document such as masterplan to guide us,” said Dr Tagicakiverata.
NTPC through its numerous campaigns and programmes over the years has been creating awareness on productivity. Some of which includes the National Convention on Quality, Department of Quality Awards and the most prominent Fiji Business Excellence Awards.
The NTPC Director also thanked consultants Dr Woon Kin Chung and Loo Ya Lee from Singapore for their tireless efforts in conducting wide consultations, research and analysis to compile the master plan.