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Expanding your association into Asia

2 min read

The world is rapidly changing through globalisation, the integration of markets, and the formation of regional trading blocks. Organisations and nations are finding it increasingly difficult to act in isolation. Embracing international collaborative partnering is a strategically necessary means for disparate organisations and countries to ensure survival, and through leveraging the stature, strength, and connectivity of partners, it is also a way to economic growth and development.

This was a key factor in the development of the Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC) and in the recent formation of a new Asia Pacific Federation of Project Management (APFPM).

Why Asia?

The Asia Pacific region represents nearly two thirds of the world’s population and well over half of global trade.

APEC was established in 1989 as a regional partnership between 21 countries.

The group meets annually to strengthen regional business ties and to focus on trade and investment liberalisation, and economic and technical cooperation.
Since its establishment, its member nations have extolled its contribution toward reducing poverty, increasing incomes, and enhancing health and educational developments. The improvement of these social indicators has promoted regional stability.

The establishment of the Asia Pacific Federation was an initiative of the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM).

The AIPM recognised the huge value in regional associations working together to build a stronger and more robust profession across the region. Launched in April 2010, member association delegates came together from Hong Kong, India, China, Nepal, Japan, the United States, Indonesia, and Australia.

The impact of economic growth

Urbanisation has been occurring at an unprecedented rate, particularly in the Asian region, coupled with dynamic economic growth. These developments have created a huge growth in business opportunities, which has been reflected in the demand for projects and strong project management competency.

This changed business landscape has heightened competition and increased the expectation and appetite of corporations, governments, and societies for more successful project and business outcomes. However, the downside of this development is that projects are becoming substantially more risky, complex, and challenging.

The project management societies that promote delivery of better capital effectiveness and business value have a responsibility to try and meet these new emerging societal challenges.

The APFPM will be a strong support mechanism for many of the professional associations in the region which have not got the capacity or capability to effectively go it alone.

The establishment process

The AIPM will act as Secretariat of the new Federation for the next four years to ensure the development and capacity building of its foundations.

Federation members met in Darwin in October 2010 to ratify its organisational structure, and in Delhi in December 2010 to sign its new governance charter and begin work on a number of new initiatives, including an Asia Pacific Project Management Achievement Awards program and a portal to share project management knowledge and research.

The value of Asia Pacific expansion

The new Federation is optimistic about the likely benefits that will emerge once regional organisations build strong
co-operative institutional bonds.

With the powerhouse economies of China and India both growing at substantial rates, coupled with the many other nations within the Asia Pacific, it is certainly shaping up to be the region of the 21st century, and the APFPM is looking forward to contributing to its development.

Dr Bill Young is the President of the Asia Pacific Federation of Project Management.

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