HA NOI — Co-operatives should be a part of the national process of industrialisation and modernisation as well as the development of new rural areas, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said at a ceremony to mark the 2012 International Year of Co-operatives in Ha Noi on Saturday.
In addition to developing new co-operatives, it was necessary to consolidate and improve the efficiency of existing ones, Dung said.
The Viet Nam Co-operative Alliance (VCA), as the representative for the interests of co-operatives, needed to develop closer links with grassroots authorities in order to help solve difficulties for co-operatives, he said.
Meanwhile, the alliance needed to support the development of the co-operative economy as well as pay greater attention to training co-operative managers and providing vocational training to co-operative personnel, Dung said.
He also urged the alliance to actively expand external relations to take advantage of the support and co-operation of international co-operative alliances and organisations.
Speaking at the event, the chief representative of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Viet Nam, Yuriko Shoji, said that the UN was closely coordinating with the Vietnamese Government on a national target programme to develop new rural areas and build the capacity of co-operatives.
The UN would continue to closely co-operate with Viet Nam to create a favourable legal and policy environment for co-operatives, she added.
Since President Ho Chi Minh issued a letter 64 years ago calling on landowners and farmers to join co-operatives, the co-operative movement in Viet Nam has continuously developed. Currently, the country has some 370,000 co-operative groups, 19,500 co-operatives and 54 co-operative unions with 13 million members. The sector accounts for about 6 per cent of national GDP. — VNS