(Source: ICA News, Issue No.2/1998, pp.5)
News from the Region - Asia & Pacific
ICA President Visits Singapore
During his visit to Singapore in April, ICA President, Roberto Rodrigues, pointed out that the Singapore Co-operative Movement could play a major role in helping co-operatives in the region to better meet the economic and social needs of their members.
The Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF), with a membership base of some one million, has been a member of ICA since 1984. The Singapore Co-operative Movement has always shown support through its participation in activities and programmes organised by ICA and its regional office.
In his meeting with the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Community Development and a Member of Parliament for East Coast, Mr. Rodrigues explored the possibility of setting up a project office in Singapore where co-operatives in the region could learn from the Singapore experience and adapt and implement this co-operative movement's success formula in their own countries. The project office could also be used as a springboard to propagate the co-operative ideals and principles to the region. Mr. Rodrigues also touched on various business opportunities and collaboration in co-operative development projects, one of which is tourism. He suggested that co-operatives in the region could come together and brainstorm on ways in which their respective countries could be promoted as tourist destinations to co-operative members.
Discussions also covered new ICA programmes and activities that are being formulated by ICA and its Regional Office for the purpose of meeting growing social and economic needs of this region. Discussions were also held with NTUC.
This was Mr. Rodrigues' first visit to Singapore in his capacity as President of ICA. He was accompanied by the ICA Director-General Bruce Thordarson and ICA Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Robby Tulus.
ADB Recognises Co-ops
The Asian Development Bank has established a focal point within its head office in Manila to liaise with co-operative organisations involved in economic and social development in the Asia-Pacific region. The decision was announced by ADB President M. Sato during a February meeting with ICA Director-General Bruce Thordarson and Asian co-operative leaders who were in Manila for a "think-tank consortium" organised by the ICA's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and ICA's member-organisation NATCCO.
Mr. William J. Staub, Senior Social Development Specialist, has been designated as the co-operative focal point within the ADB. President Sato also said that the ADB would send a senior representative to participate in the ICA Global Forum to be held in Seoul, Korea, on October 29-31, following the ICA's Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly. ICA will hold further discussions with the ADB during the ADB's 31st Annual Board of Governors Meeting, which will take place later this year in Geneva.