The Quebec City of Canada hosted the 2014 International Summit of Cooperatives under the theme “Cooperatives’ Power of Innovation” on October 6-9 this year. The summit is a biannual event that provides managers of cooperatives with solutions to encourage the development and improve the performance of their businesses while promoting the cooperative business model worldwide.
This year’s summit was an opportunity for decision makers and leaders of the cooperative field to get together, network, discuss and share their concerns about the current and future business challenges. It was also an opportunity to stay well informed on major international development trends and gain a solid understanding of the global cooperative movement and the business opportunities it offers.
During the past two years, the cooperative movement was invited—for the first time—to participate in B20 discussions and to partner strategically with a number of international organizations, including the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Bank.
Within the frames of the summit “Farm Credit Armenia” CEO Armen Gabrielyan met with a number of leaders of cooperatives, mainly ADG (Academy of German Cooperatives) division manager Rudiger Meinster. During the meeting the sides discussed the prospects and developments of cooperation between ADG and FCA. Particularly, they agreed to organize more frequent joint seminars and trainings in the nearest future in order to transfer the best international experience to the specialists of the field.
Various studies presented during the Summit, revealed that there are 2.6 million cooperatives worldwide, with 1 billion members and 250 million jobs. Within the G20 nations, cooperatives account for 12% of all jobs and annual revenue of US$3 000 billion. According to those reports, the cooperative business model has helped societies improve health, increase prosperity, lower unemployment rates, and address inequality.
At the end of the event the 2014 Summit Declaration was presented to the participants setting forth such commitments as to increase the role of financial cooperatives in financial inclusion on a global scale, continue efforts to improve conditions for food processing and preservation through agro-lending, develop innovative solutions to help communities manage health care and services, develop initiatives for the growth of cooperative enterprises for the benefit of cooperative business model and capitalization, and so on.