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APEC Public-Private Dialogue on Services shows that manufacturing companies must innovate to survive

Panelists of the APEC 2015 Public-Private Dialogue on Services (PPDS): From (L-R) Dr. Ian Ferguson, Departmental Science Advisor, New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries; Mr. Christopher Findlay, Executive Dean, The University of Adelaide, Australia ; Ms. Hildegunn Nordås, Senior Economist, Trade and Development Directorate, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; Mr. Pierre-Olivier de Planck, Chief Executive Officer, Rustan Supercenters, Inc.; Mr. Eddie Chew, Head of Corporate Affairs, ASEAN of Syngenta Asia Pacific Pte Ltd.

BORACAY, THE PHILIPPINES, 18 MAY – At the Second APEC Senior Officials’ meeting and Related Meetings, at Boracay, Aklan, representatives from the public and private sector came together at the third dialogue on services to help APEC steer an agenda that will promote and advance services in the Asia-Pacific region. The importance of innovation as a driver of growth in the manufacturing sector was highlighted by Mr Richard Lee, Chairman of Inventec Corporation.

Mr. Lee said that companies must “innovate or die”.  The average company lifespan had fallen from over 50 years to 20 years, and so the manufacturing sector could not rely on increasing global demand to sustain continuous growth.  Companies need an innovation strategy that tapped into present and future technologies.

“Everything gets smarter” Mr. Lee explained – “we now have smart phones, smart homes, smart cars and smart factories”. Companies needed to respond to the changing world through innovation, by looking at intellectual property and knowledge assets to protect research and development, and transforming their business by managing innovation.

Inventec aimed to transform itself into a global internet company by innovating and utilizing the ‘internet of things’, leading on 3D printing services, and leading cloud data center services.  It was crucial for firms like Inventec to also apply these services to its manufacturing processes.

The Dialogue concluded that services were a major driver of inclusive growth–the APEC theme for 2015.  A conference for regional services coalitions will be held at the margins of the Third APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting and Related Meetings in Cebu from 24 August – 06 September 2015.

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