Vice President calls on Asia-Pacific cooperative alliance to reform

Tuesday, 2017-04-18 10:07:15
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Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh speaks at the conference. (Source: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – The International Cooperative Alliance – Asia and Pacific (ICA-AP) should implement reforms to promote connectivity among regional cooperatives for more dynamic and practical development.

Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh made the statement at the 10th Asia Pacific Cooperative Ministers’ Conference, which opened in Hanoi on April 18.

The enhancement of economic cooperation and collaboration programmes between member cooperative federations, including Vietnam, is a vivid demonstration of the growing cooperative economy, she said.

However, the ICA-AP is facing a number of challenges in implementing the targets set at its 12th Regional Assembly to obtain sustainable development, eliminate poverty, protect the environment, and ensure prosperity for all people by 2030, she noted.

Cooperatives are considered as essential to helping the ICA-AP realise the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to promote democracy, social connectivity and environmental protection, she added.

The Vice President urged the ICA-AP to give priority to structural reform to step up cooperation and improve the operational efficiency of cooperatives, as well as stimulate renovation and narrow development gaps.

The alliance should forge ahead with regional integration as well as trade and investment collaboration for the sake of all people, while making use of opportunities from the current cooperation mechanisms in the region such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), she said.

She also suggested building quality infrastructure and innovative financial mechanisms, and boosting public-private partnership.

In light of the digital era, the ICA-AP needs to support cooperation to increase competitiveness, renovation, and participation in the global value chain, she said.

The Vice President urged the alliance to take bolder actions to implement the initiative on the facilitation of business for cooperatives and startups via establishing cooperatives led by the youth and women.

Strengthening food security and sustainable agricultural development should be prioritised in the future, while boosting the transfer of technology to increase quality and productivity for the agricultural sector, Thinh said.

She called on the ICA-AP to put forth initiatives to fuel economic growth and integration and confirm its global position as a coordinator in multi-layer and multi-lateral economic cooperation.

President of the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA) Vo Kim Cu said Vietnam is home to over 20,000 cooperatives operating in various fields from agriculture, trade-services and construction to industry-handicraft, transport, credit and environment.

With over 30 million labourers, the cooperatives form a large socio-economic region which has a crucial impact on the rural economy, he added.

The Asia-Pacific cooperatives movement’s agenda by 2030 targets 4 million cooperatives with 2 billion members, making up 20% of the global economy, he noted.

The 10th Asia Pacific Cooperative Ministers’ Conference is taking place in Vietnam for the first time from April 18-21.