This document has been made available in electronic format by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) 

ICA Presidentís visit to Singapore (1998)

Oct., 1998
(Source: Co-op Dialogue, Vol. 8, No. 2, July-Sept, 1998, pp.26-27)

ICA Presidentís visit to Singapore

The Singapore Co-operative Movement can play a major role in helping co-operatives in the region better meet the economic and social needs of their members.

The President of International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), Mr. Roberto Rodrigues pointed this out during his visit to Singapore on 26 to 27 April, 1998.

In his meeting with the Parliamentary Secretary (Prime Ministerís Office and Ministry of Community Development) and Member of Parliament for East Cost, GRC Mr. Chan Soo Sen, 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 out co-operative movementís success formula in their own countries. The project office can also be used as a springboard to propagate and promote the Co-operative ideals and principles to the region.

During his meeting with Mr. Chan, 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 ways in which their respective countries could be promoted as tourist destinations to the co-operative members.

His dialogue with Mr. Chan 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.

The ICA is an independent, non-governmental association which unites, represents and serves co-operatives worldwide. It was founded in London in 1895. Its members are national and international co-operative organisations in all sectors of activity, including agriculture, banking, energy, industry, insurance, fisheries, housing, tourism and consumer co-operatives. ICA has more than 230 member organisations from over 100 countries, representing more than 730 million individuals worldwide.

In 1946, the ICA was one of the first NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to be accorded United Nations Consultative Status. Today, it is one of the 41 organisations holding Category 1 Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Working from its Head Office in Geneva and Regional Office, ICA helps to build strong, viable co-operatives in developing countries by acting as a co-ordination and catalyst of co-operative movement.

The Singapore National Co-operative Federation, 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. Last year, we participated in the Pre-Ministerial Conference in Myanmar, the 4th Ministerial Conference in Chiangmai, the ICA General Assembly in Geneva. We also sent a four-member delegation for the Co-operative Identity Workshop in Jaipur, India. Early this year, we participated in the ICA Think Tank Consortium in the Philippines.

This was Mr. Rodriguesí first visit to Singapore in his capacity as President of ICA. He was accompanied by the ICA Director-General Mr. Bruce Thordarson and ICA Regional Director for Asia-Pacific, Mr. Robby Tulus.

The delegation also met up with Mr. Lawrence Sia, NTUC Deputy Secretary-General, Mr. Hawazi Daipi, Director of NTUC International Affairs Department, as well as Trustees and Council Members of SNCF for separate discussions. Topics covered during the NTUC meeting included:

SNCF Chief Executive, Mr. K.T. Samuel said that he is confident that ICA will draw on the Singapore Co-operative experience when it sets up its plans for meeting the diversified needs of its members in the coming millennium.