24 25 26
May 2018
1 June
Panel Session

THE COOPERATIVE MOVEMENT AS A DRIVER OF SOCIOECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

15:00-16:15 Congress Centre, Conference Hall D2
Throughout the world, cooperatives are making a significant contribution to sustainable economic development and providing stability in labour markets. People are coming together to form cooperatives on a voluntary basis to solve common economic, social, and cultural issues. Two hundred and fifty million people are working in cooperatives globally (not including external part-time and temporary workers), and in the G20 countries, cooperatives provide jobs for 12% of the entire working population, while the turnover of the world’s 300 largest cooperatives totals approximately USD 2.2 trillion. The world’s largest, the International Co-operative Alliance, represents the interests of close to a record 1 billion individual members. As cooperatives belong to and are run by and serve the interests of their members, they enable effective resolution of economic issues and the development of social and human capital and formation of communities of people, making cooperatives one of the most effective means to maintain economic and social stability. Cooperatives are frequently founded on mutual assistance. As a form of organization, cooperatives demonstrate high rates of survival and sustainability in times of crisis. What is the role of cooperatives globally? What prospects are there for developing the cooperative movement in the Russian Federation? How are cooperatives beneficial in the context of addressing existing social issues and economic challenges?
Moderator:
Brian Yeung, Editor, Asia Weekly
Panellists:
Anthony Barbagallo, Councillor of the Regional Government of Sicily for Tourism, Sports and Entertainment
Patrick Anthony Chinamasa, Minister of Finance and Economic Development of the Republic of Zimbabwe
Nikolay Kharitonov, Chairman, State Duma Committee for Regional Policy and Issues of the North and Far East
Petar Stefanov, President, Consumer Co-operatives Worldwide
Valentin Timakov, Director General, Agency for the Development of Human Capital in the Far Eastern Federal District
Alexander Tsybulskiy, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation
Dmitriy Zubov, Chairman of the Board, Central Union of Consumer Societies of the Russian Federation
Front row participant:
Antonio Piccoli, Director, GIM-Unimpresa

Highlights

In our region [Sicily], we focus on developing a regulatory framework and building an economic programme for cooperatives in agriculture.

Anthony Barbagallo
Councillor of the Regional Government of Sicily for Tourism, Sports and Entertainment

I agree that the state should back cooperatives at the regulatory and economic levels, especially start-ups in this area.

Anthony Barbagallo
Councillor of the Regional Government of Sicily for Tourism, Sports and Entertainment

In the area of agriculture the major is first to give Co-operatives access to imports and to arrange agreements for marketing their production.

Patrick Anthony Chinamasa
Minister of Finance and Economic Development of the Republic of Zimbabwe

The cooperative movement should be empowered and all levels of the authorities should trust and help cooperatives.

Nikolay Kharitonov
Chairman, State Duma Committee for Regional Policy and Issues of the North and Far East

What must not be underestimated is the role of cooperatives as social groups working for the good of society.

Petar Stefanov
President, Consumer Co-operatives Worldwide

First, we need to harmonize the legislation on cooperatives; second, we need to identify the criteria for a contemporary sustainable cooperative, and third, we should focus on young people.

Petar Stefanov
President, Consumer Co-operatives Worldwide

Promoting cooperatives in the Far East is doable, on condition that the state creates the requisite infrastructure to support cooperatives, including state distribution systems.

Valentin Timakov
Director General, Agency for the Development of Human Capital in the Far Eastern Federal District

If the state and cooperatives make steps towards each other, there will be real progress.

Dmitriy Zubov
Chairman of the Board, Central Union of Consumer Societies of the Russian Federation

Historically, cooperative business has not only proven its flexibility and stability in times of crisis, but also its ability to act in various economic systems: under feudalism, capitalism and socialism.

Petar Stefanov
President, Consumer Co-operatives Worldwide

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