International Cooperative Day event held

Vice President U Henry Van Thio inspects foodstuff produced by cooperative Societies.  Photo: MNA

Vice President U Henry Van Thio attended and gave an opening speech at the International Cooperative Day event held yesterday morning in Nay Pyi Taw.
Present at the event were Union Ministers Dr. Aung Thu, U Thant Sin Maung, U Ohn Win, Union Attorney General U Tun Tun Oo, Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw, Nay Pyi Taw Council members, chairmen and board of directors of Central Cooperative Society, States and Regions Cooperatives, officials of INGOs and NGOs, cooperative members and responsible persons.
First, Union Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Dr. Aung Thu, Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw, the Central Cooperative Society Chairman U Khin Maung Aye and officials cut a ribbon to open the event.
Next, Vice President U Henry Van Thio and group toured the International Cooperative Day market and visited the sales booths.
Afterwards the event was continued in the Department of Cooperative meeting hall where Vice President U Henry Van Thio said the event was the 23rd time the International Cooperative Day had been held in Myanmar. As per the theme “Cooperatives ensure no one is left behind” International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) had urged cooperatives to have everyone freely participate without discriminating against gender, race, religious belief, social and political stand. Cooperatives were not investment money centered but people oriented and the cooperatives’ prosperity and developments were seen to be shared fairly and equitably said the Vice President.
ICA has 95 member countries, 284 member cooperatives with more than 1 billion members. 250 million of the world’s population is known to earn their livelihood in cooperative works. UNESCO had included cooperatives in the list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity and cooperatives need to help face the challenges of inequalities and conflicts added the Vice President.
On the Myanmar cooperative sector, financial support provided to rural farmers were effective and the momentum of success need to be maintained remarked the Vice President. Through the cooperation of Cooperative Department and cooperatives of different levels, cooperative member farmers were provided with small investment loans amounting to hundreds of billions of Kyat in 2016 and 2017. In FY 2016-2017, more than 3,400 farm machineries worth more than Ks 24 billion were sold under an installment system and a loan of more than Ks 11 billion had been provided for mechanized farming in more than 35,000 acres of land. The Vice President urged the cooperatives in the relevant states and regions to provide more loans to farmers who had repaid their loans. It could be seen that the cooperative sector was supporting the country’s economic development said the Vice President. The Vice President concluded his speech by urging all to cooperate and work together according to the International Cooperative Day theme and achieve the aim of the cooperative.
Next, Union Minister Dr. Aung Thu explained about International Cooperative Day and Central Cooperative Society executive committee member Dr. Toe Nanda Tin read a message sent by ICA.
Afterwards Union Minister Dr. Aung Thu, Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw and responsible persons presented to Nay Pyi Taw Council, states and regions cooperatives Ks 529.53 billion for small investment loan, support of Ks. 9.45 billion for more than 2,000 farm machineries sold under an installment system and Ks 8.59 billion for mechanized farming in 29,000 acres and awards to best performing cooperatives in manufacturing, service and trade sectors, best performing cooperatives, first, second and third prizes for best performing townships and best sales booths in the sales market.
Vice President U Henry Van Thio and persons attending the event then took commemorative group photos. International Cooperative Day is an annual celebration held worldwide since 1923 by ICA with the aim of increasing relations, cooperation and increase economic cooperation among cooperatives.
In 1992, the 49th United Nations General Assembly marked the centenary of the establishment of ICA by proclaiming the first Saturday of July to be International Day of Cooperatives and the event had been held annually worldwide.

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