The four-day event covered topics across agriculture, community, consumerism and finance for participants within the ASEAN region. 75 participants from 23 co-operatives and 10 countries —including South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, The Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Singapore — attended the conference.
By Benjamin Kang, edited by Sng Ler Jun
Organised by International Co-operative Alliance – Asia and Pacific (ICA-AP) Committee on Trade & Business, in collaboration with the Malaysian National Cooperative Movement (ANGKASA) and ASEAN Co-operative Organisation (ACO), the Cooperative to Cooperative (C-2-C) Conference 2022 took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia between 29 November and 2 December last year.
The four-day event covered topics across agriculture, community, consumerism and finance for participants within the ASEAN region. Beyond covering challenges faced by co-operatives within the region and hearing how different co-ops problem solve, the event also hopes to provide networking and collaborative opportunities for participants. Thereby, upholding the co-operative principle of cooperation amongst co-ops as well as supporting the ninth sustainable development goal of “industry, innovation and infrastructure”. The ICA-AP Committee on Trade & Business also convened its annual meeting there.
75 participants from 23 cooperatives and 10 countries—including South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Singapore—were present at the conference. Delegates from the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF) include Ms Adeline Kee, the federation’s assistant chief executive, and Mr Benjamin Kang, a relationship manager.
The first keynote address “Demand vs Opportunities: Bridging the Gap through Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure” featured Mr Firdaus Dahlan, director of the Centre for Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand-Growth Triangle, highlighting subregional cooperation can bolster pandemic recovery, and drive demands and opportunities. Interestingly, the Centre for Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand-Growth Triangle is one such cooperative initiative that was first formed in 1993 by the three governments to accelerate economic transformation within the region.
Subsequent forums on agriculture, community, consumerism, and finance highlighted how collaborations between co-ops are important to enact change. Co-ops also need to leverage technology to adapt and evolve.
At an excursion to ANGKASA’s office, some participants got to revel in the rich history behind the Malaysian co-operative movement at their Co-operative Museum. A visit to a local co-operative KOSAS Koperasi, a multi-purpose co-operative in Malaysia chaired by Dato Haji Md Aini b. Haji Taib, proved to be equally educational too According to Dato Haji, KOSAS Koperasi had humble beginnings, first as a pineapple plantation before branching out to other businesses such as agriculture, property, investment, education and travel. Today, the co-op also manages a F&B venture, selling coffee called “Richamo”. They are also the master franchisee who is able to issue franchise license to co-operatives who are interested to run the F&B business on their own.
At the ACO Annual General meeting, the team covered activities done for the year as well as an election for the president for the committee. Datuk Seri Dr. Abdul Fattah Abdullah was re-elected as President for the new term.