Co-op Ministers’ Conference begins in Hanoi

The 10th Asia-Pacific Co-operative Ministers’ Conference (APCMC) is being hosted by the ICA-AP, together with the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA), and the Government of Vietnam from April 18-21, 2017 in Hanoi. Nearly 200 international delegates from 21 countries and territories are expected to participate in it.

“Visioning Ahead to 2030 is promoting stronger partnerships between Government and Co-operative Stakeholders in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” says Regional Director of ICA A-P Balu Aiyer.

A member of ICA, the VCA is the apex organization of the Vietnam Cooperative Movement and promotes the development of co-operatives. The conference is supported by the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam.

The Director General of the global body ICA Charles Gould is also participating in the event.

Majority of cooperatives from India which are members of ICA Asia Pacific are participating in the show in Hanoi including NCUI President Dr Chandra Pal Singh Yadav (who also doubles as Vice-President of ICA A-P). There are also representatives from IFFCO, Kribhco and other co-op federations. IFFCO’s Tarun Bhargava is already camping in the town.

The 9th APCMC was held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2012, hosted by the government of Thailand and attended by 14 Cooperative Ministers and 300 delegates including government representatives, international delegates and ICA members from 21 countries.

The “International Year of Co-operatives 2012” created an earnest reflection, on how co-operatives can contribute in reducing poverty, generating employment, and advancing social integration. The momentum in 2012 generated further in–depth thinking towards the creation of the “ICA Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade”, incorporating five distinct elements (participation, sustainability, identity, legal framework and capital), which need to be advanced in a coherent manner in order to foster growth and development of co-operatives.

It creates an opportunity for the participating countries and territories to share experienc and identify new challenges in developing cooperatives in the region, as well as seek solutions and orientations for the regional and international cooperatives’ activities to promote multinational trade, collaboration and common development, said VCA Vice President.

However, a large number of cooperatives, including those in Vietnam, have seen aged members being in the majority and attracted little interest from the younger generation. Meanwhile, many cooperatives have turned into businesses and lost their meaning to society, reports Vietnamese media.

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