CICOPA (1996/97)

This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
July, 1997
(Source: ICA Review, Vol.90 No.2 - Annual Report 1996-1997, pp.59-62)

International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and 
Service Producers' Co-operatives (CICOPA)
Report by Yves Regis/Marian Rybar/Arsenio Invernizzi

Executive Committee
Chairman: 	Yves Regis (France) until September 1996, 
Marian Rybar (Slovakia), elected Interim President on 25 October 1996.

Secretary: 	Martine Cabanis (France); Arsenio Invernizzi (ICA)

Vice-Chairmen:	B.S.Vishvanathan - N.C.U.I. (India), 
Mohamed Sebaiy (Egypt), F.Scalvini (Italy-CECOP) 
Members: 	Yuzo Nagato (Japan), Dumitru Danga (Romania), 
Agus Sudono (Indonesia), Mrs.Prasad (India), Vivian Woodell (UK), 
Alverino (Uruguay), Kibora (Africa), Lubasi ( East Africa), 
Daman Prakash (Asia), Jean-Marie Courtois (France)

CICOPA has 72 member organisations from 52 countries 
(Europe: 15, Africa: 15, America: 13, Asia: 9)

CICOPA Newsletter is issued twice a year

Statutory Meetings
Every two years a Plenary meeting is held (which usually coincides 
with the ICA Board meeting) with two Executive meetings held 
each year. The last Plenary meeting took place in Manchester in 
September 1995.

The most recent Executive Committee was held in Budapest (October 1996). 
On this occasion the ICA President paid tribute to CICOPA's long-time 
President, Yves Regis, who died in September. The enlarged Executive 
Committee meeting took place on 10 April 1997 in Bratislava (Slovakia).

Regional Organisations
CICOPA Latina America is temporarily located in Cono Sur. CICOPA 
Asia and CICOPA Africa are in the planning stages. 

The creation of CICOPA-Europe is being discussed by the 
Common Commission of CICOPA/CECOP. Its formal creation 
is expected before the end of 1997, or eventually in 1998 at the 
General Assembly.

CICOPA Development Programmes
CICOPA implements its development programmes through the following 
consultants: Ruben Villa, Bruno Roelants, Pierre Guiard-Schmid, Sergeyi 

CICOPA Programme in Latin America
Argentina: The Programme has oriented the main actions towards the
creation and development of co-operative commercial networks in 
different cities of the country and has continued, with the rest of the co-ops
involved in the programme, the activities on managment control, 
commercialization and marketing. 

Paraguay: The work undertaken by the Cicopa Service dealt with
 granting the co-ops investment projects for either production or properties.
Uruguay: The programme continued its two activities: advisory services 
and project financing. 

Central America: The programme offered support to handicraft and 
industrial co-operatives from Costa Rica and El Salvador. Activities 
include financial and merchandising procedure support, managerial 
assessment, and assistance in procuring credit.

CICOPA Programme in China
The programme was established in June 1996. The three organisations mandated 
Mao Lai to be responsible for the programme in China and to establish a 
consultancy co-operative, called XIMENG (established in October 96) to 
administer the programme. 

There are already around 80 enterprises in the network established and 
coordinated by XIMENG, around 50 of those in the region of Shanghai, 
involving a workforce of approximately 14,000 people. One of the main 
focuses of the programme is to promote the reconversion of public 
enterprises into producer's co-ops. Around 20 of the co-op member 
enterprises of the network in Shanghai were either recently converted or 
are in the process of reconversion. 

The second most important issue is the promotion of international economic 
co-operation. A third priority is to help unemployed people to form co-ops.
A very good piece of news is that, after three years of lobbying, Mao Lai and 
his group have just obtained the approval for the first private co-operative bank 
in the history of the People's Republic of China, to be established in Shanghai.  
A second programme should be launched soon, this time in a rural 
environment in the Hebei province. 

CICOPA Programme in India
The CICOPA programme in India aims to strengthen the management 
and marketing skills of co-operative producers and artisans in the country. 
Within this programme, two units have been established in Delhi and Bangalore. 
The project was implemented in the States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and in 
Karnataka.  The possibility for extending the programmes is under discussion.  

CICOPA Programme in Russia
In 1994/1995, CICOPA together with LIKOP (League of co-operatives and 
enterprises of Russia) managed a project aimed at the elaboration of a specific 
Act regulating producer's co-operatives in Russia. In order to prepare the draft 
bill, a working group consisting of Russian and European experts was established.  
Then LIKOP submitted the draft bill to the Duma (Russian Parliament).  After 
the approval by the Duma, on 8 May 1996, B.N. Yeltsin, president of Russia, 
signed the Federal Act on Producer Co-operatives.  At the beginning of 1996, 
CIOPA and LIKOP organised an international conference on how to resolve the 
difficulties in developing producer's co-operatives.  At present, CICOPA and
 LIKOP are organising activities aimed at facilitating the implementation of the 
new Act.  Work establishing the national federation of producer's co-operatives 
of Russia will be finished soon.  One of the most crucial tasks is training and 
education for the managers and the directors of producer's co-ops.  

At present funds are being searched for eventual implementation of other 

ICA, CICOPA and Job Ownership Ltd, UK sponsored an International 
Conference on Co-operative Entreprises and the Economy of Employee 
Shareholders which took place in Imola, Italy on 22 and 23 October 1996, an 
initiative of the Italian Co-operative Movement.  More than 250 persons from 
17 countries participated in this International Conference, demonstrating the 
importance of sharing information on different experience and forms of
"participatory" ownership and management.  Opportunities for possibility
alliances among co-operatives and other enterprises with similar values 
have been discussed. 

A resolution was approved asking the governments and the European 
Union to improve policies and legislations in favour of democratic employee 
ownership, and strengthening closer relations within the organisations and 
networks which participated in the conference. 

Activities Planned For the Future
We are considering maintaining a four-year cycle of international conferences. 
The next forum is to be held in 1998 and should concentrate on environmental 
issues. The working title is "Producer co-operatives and the environment".

The date and venue will be announced at the CICOPA General Assembly in Geneva.