World Overview

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    This document has been made available in electronic format
         by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA 
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                         July, 1996


Source : ICA News 1/1996


                       World Overview
                       ***************

Canada
*******

Profile Campaign of CCYN
-------------------------

The Canadian Co-operative Youth Network (CCYN) launched  a
Profile Campaign at its  National Planning Session in Winnipeg
last November. The session brought together co-operative youth
from all over Canada. In 1996, the CCYN will work with
co-operative organizations to find ways of working together,
accessing funding and building the network. The SCYN is
supported by the CCA.

(CCYN News Release, December 1996)

Electronic Conference on Co-op Principles
-----------------------------------------
The Canadian Co-operative Association, CCA, hosted a
three-week on-line conference on the Internet, on the revised
co-operative principles. The discussion forum brought together
70 subscribers from Canada, the US, UK, Australia, Switzerland
and Sweden.  A Summary of the discussions can be assessed
through the ICA Web Pages (http://www.coop.org).

The CCA will be producing an interactive multimedia
presentation on the Statement of Co-operative Identity and
Principles, which will be available on a diskette. The
presentation will contain a brief history of co-operatives and
the background to the ICA Statement and Principles, including
full colour photos.

-(Member Development & Communications Update, Fall 1995)

Desjardins Enters the US Capital Markets
----------------------------------------
The Desjardins caisse populaire movement in Quebec has
successfully launched the first "Debenture Desjardins", with a
total value of 200 million US dollars.  Offered mainly to
institutional investors in the United States, the debentures
have an interest rate of 7.37 percent and carry no voting
rights.

According to Desjardins President, Claude Beland, this new
form of capitalisation demonstrates that the co-operative
system can successfully enter the large institutional
investment market, "while at the same time respecting its
mission, values, and distinctive character."

-(Desjardins Press Release, 9 August 1995) 

China
******

ICMIF Members  Open Beijing Office
----------------------------------

NTUC INCOME, Singapore, and Unipol, Italy, have become the
first co-operative insurers in the world to be granted
representative office licences in China.

The two organisations will work with the All China Federation
of Trade Unions (ACFTU) in joint projects and market research.
Unipol is among the top 10 insurers in Italy, with more than
2.8 million policies and annual premiums of ITL 1,886 billion.
NTUC INCOME has also applied for a representative office
licence in Vietnam and signed a memorandum of understanding
with the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour to set up a
joint venture and operate an insurance co-operative.

-(Co-operative and Mutual Insurance Network,  September 1995)

Finland
********
Consumer Co-ops increase Market Share 
-------------------------------------
Finland's two consumer co-operative groups shared in the
general recovery of the Finnish economy during 1994.

The S group's food and grocery sales increased by 4.4 per
cent, bringing its market share to 22 per cent. SOK
Corporation's operating profit was FIM 90 million, an
improvement of 17 million compared to the previous year.

The net turnover for Tradeka Consolidated Company grew by 3
per cent and operating profit rose by FIM 120 million to FIM
370 million. During the year 150,000 new households joined the
Loyal Customer Scheme.

-(SOK and Tradeka Press Releases, February 1996)

India
******
Rediscovering Co-operation
--------------------------
The Institute of Rural Management (IRMA), Anand, India will
organise a national Seminar on 'Rediscovering Co-operation' in
November 1996. In view of the significant changes in the
social, political and economic environment in recent years,
IRMA has called for research proposals on themes such as
'Bases of Co-operation', 'Strategies for the Models of
Tomorrow', and 'Co-operatives in the Emerging Context'. IRMA
will provide funding support for field research and will also
reimburse travel costs and provide local hospitality to
authors of accepted papers for participation in the Seminar. 

Further details from Prof. R. Rajagopalan, Institute of Rural
Management, Post Box 60, Anand 388 001, Gujarat, India.  Tel:
(91) 2692-40391 Fax: (91) 2692-40188, E-mail:
raja@irm.ernet.in

Japan
*****

JA-ZENCHU Establishes an Internet Home Page
----------------------------------------------
JA-ZENCHU has launched a Web Site, which can be accessed at
http://www.rim.or.jp/ci/ja/ or through the ICA Web Pages at
http://www.coop.org

The site aims to provide domestic agricultural information, to
stress the importance of JA-Zenchu's information service and
to interact with other networks internationally.

The site will promote the JA group's activities through focus
on its structure and business and through the regular
publication of JA-ZENCHU NEWS.

The International Department of JA-ZENCHU can be contacted by
E-mail at ldm05517@niftyserve.or.j~

- (JA ZENCHU News No.3,  November 1995)

JA Group Involved with Welfare for the Aged
-------------------------------------------
As a response to the fast aging rural society in Japan, the JA
group has started a home-helper training programme which has
trained over 18,000 home helpers in the past year and aims to
increase the number trained to approximately 60,000 by the end
of the year 2000. 

The group also organized a `Local Participants Volunteer
Programme' involving home helper trainees, women and youth. 
The group runs or is building 14 homes which include a day
care centre in Tochigi prefecture and a centre in Fuji city,
Shizuoka prefecture, is scheduled to open later this year.

-(JA-ZENCHU News No.4, December 1995)

Poland
******
Polish Parliament Approves Credit Union Act
-------------------------------------------
Last October, the Polish Parliament  approved a Credit Union
Act submitted by the National Association of Polish Credit
Unions.

The Act received almost unanimous support from the Sejm - the
lower Chamber of the Parliament - with 317 votes in favour of
the regulation and only 8 against. The landslide victory in
the Parliament follows more than two years of strenuous
efforts dedicated to securing a legislation for the Polish
credit union movement.

-(Krajowa Spoldzielcza Kasa Oszczednosciowo-Kredytowa, Gdynia,
October  1995)

Portugal
********

XXI International Congress of CIRIEC
------------------------------------
The XXI Ciriec International Congress will be held in Lisbon
on 20 and 21 May, 1996. The general theme of the Congress will
be `Towards economic and social cohesion? The contribution of
public enterprises, co-operatives and social economy
enterprises'. 

Topics for discussion will include: prevention of social
exclusion; provision and financing modes of public and social
services; development of outlying regions; transnational
infrastructure networks; privatization experiences (including
Eastern Europe); services in the general interest facing
liberalization; the future of public services in the European
Union (1996 Inter governmental Conference for revision of the
European treaties/European Charter of Public Services).
Further information from:

Bernard Thiry, Director, Ciriec International, Universite de
Liege au Sart-Tilman, Bat. B33 - bte 6, B-4000 Liege, Belgium.
Tel.(32)41-66 27 46; Fax: (32)41-66 29 58.

-(Ciriec International News Release, October 1995)

Switzerland
***********
Migros Turns to Capital Markets
-------------------------------
The Federation of Migros Co-operatives has turned to the Swiss
capital markets for a 10-year loan of 250 million Swiss
francs, which will be used to consolidate short-term debts. 
This is the first time since 1983 that Migros, Switzerland's
largest retailer, has gone to the capital markets.

-(Journal de Geneve, 13 September 1995)

United Kingdom
**************

Robert Owen Statue Gets a New Plaque
-------------------------------------
The Co-operative Bank, Manchester  recently hosted the Robert
Owen Memorial Museum Committee from Newtown, Mid Wales, who
were visiting Manchester to see the statue outside 1 Balloon
Street. The original likeness, from which the statue outside
head office of the Co-operative Bank is copied, is in Newtown,
the birthplace of the famous co-operator. The visit also
marked the completion of a new plaque which explains who
unveiled the statue and when.

-(Banknotes, Issue 45, December 1995)

Entries Called for World Habitat Awards 1996
--------------------------------------------
The Building and Social Housing Foundation invites entries for
the World Habitat Awards 1996. The awards, initiated in 1985
by the Foundation, are part of its contribution to the UN
International Year of Shelter for the Homeless in 1987. 
Each year, two awards of 10,000 and individually designed and
crafted silver trophies are given to the winners of a
competition for human settlement projects, both in developed
and developing countries, offering sustainable futures to
residents and providing practical and imaginative solutions to
current housing problems.

Those who wish to participate in the competition should send
their preliminary entries by 31 July, 1996 to Diane Diacon,
Research Officer of Building and Social Housing Foundation,
Memorial Square, Coalville, Leicestershire LE67 3TU 
(Tel.+44/1530/510/444 and fax +44/1530/510 332). 

USA
****

Co-operatives Active in Rural Communities
-----------------------------------------
New co-operatives across the USA are revitalizing rural
communities, according to testimony provided November 1 at a
USDA hearing by the National Co-operative Business Association
(NCBA).

A small USDA programme that funds regional co-operative
development centres is showing great results. Over the last 10
years, NCBA has committed itself to the creation and
successful operation of centres for rural co-operative
development. Today, all across rural America, citizens are
using co-operatives to start their own businesses. In the
Western part of the US, co-operatives create new jobs
processing recycled material into retail products; in the
upper Midwest, co-operatives engage in value-added processing
of agricultural products that is raising farm income on the
commodities they produce; and in the South, community
development credit unions are providing loans for small
businesses owned by minorities in rural areas.

This economic development activity is conducted on a regional
basis through a network of co-operative development centres.
The benefit to rural communities is significant because
co-operatives aggregate economic power in large enough units
to make businesses competitive in a global economy.

- (NCBA News Release, November 1995)

NCBA and CBI Sign New Russian Project 
-------------------------------------
The National Co-operative Business Association, through its
subcontractor, Co-operative Business International, signed its
third USDA Food for Progress Grant on February 9, to establish
an Import Guarantee Fund in Khabarovsk Krai, located in far
east Russia. The guarantee will be used to collateralize
letters of credit on behalf of Khabarovsk food-processing
enterprises for the purchase of bulk commodities,
semi-processed and  packaged foods, addressing the lack of
available import credit at realistic interest rates in
Khabarovsk Krai.

- (NCBA News Release, February 1996)

CLUSA Institute for Co-operative Development 
---------------------------------------------
The National Co-operative Business Association launched the
CLUSA Institute for Co-operative Development, January, 1996.
The institute will increase the capacity of co-operatives to
provide concrete solutions to contemporary problems and act as
a catalyst to replicate successful co-operative development
models around the country and overseas.

John Gauci has been appointed director of the Institute.
Besides Gauci, a new internal steering committee, charged with
the responsibility of setting overall policy and direction for
the Institute has also been appointed. The committee members
include Jim Cawley, NCBA Vice-president for international
programmes, Paul Hazen, Chief Operating Officer of NCBA and
Judy Ziewacz, acting Director of the Co-operative Development
Foundation.

- (NCBA Press Releases, January and February 1996)

Zambia
******

ZCF Weathers Economic Down-turn
--------------------------------
The Zambia Co-operative Federation recorded decreased profits
in 1994-95 (K 145 million compared to K 870 million the year
previously), but continued its restructuring in order to cope
with the effects of the Structural Adjustment Programme. 
Staff size was reduced from 415 to 282 as part of ZCF's
cost-cutting measures.  Zambia's GDP declined in real terms in
1994, and its agricultural output fell by 19.8 percent, with
the result that both maize and maize meal had to be imported
in the first quarter of 1995.

- (ZCF Annual Report, 1995)