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As part of his official visit to Asia from 21 July to 1 August, the President of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) Dr Ariel Guarco visited Singapore on 22-23 July. Dr Guarco, who belongs to the Federation of Electric Co-operatives and Public Services (FEDECOBA) and the Co-operative Confederation of Argentina or COOPERAR, was elected as President by the 2017 ICA General Assembly. He was accompanied by International Co-operative Alliance Asia and Pacific Regional Director Mr Balasubramanian Iyer, and Senior Advisor to the ICA President Ms Gabriela Buffa.

The 12-day official tour will take him to Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, China, Korea and Japan with an objective of sharing and learning about co-operatives globally. These six countries are home to some of the oldest and most vibrant co-operative movements in the world. They have a long-standing history of contributing to the economic, social and political development of their countries. Co-operatives from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, and Singapore figure in the World Co-operative Monitor which ranks the Top 300 co-operatives in the world in terms of turnover and turnover/GDP per capita. Co-operatives in these countries are not only improving livelihoods and contributing to the GDP, but also actively contributing to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Ica Prez SncfICA President Guarco and his team made their first stop at the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF), the apex body of Singapore Co-operative Movement and secretariat of the Central Co-operative Fund (CCF) Committee. 


They were briefed by SNCF CEO Ms Dolly Goh and her team on the co-operative landscape in Singapore, and the role played by SNCF in promoting and developing the movement. SNCF, formed in 1980 with the aim of championing Singapore Co-operative Movement, represents 99% of co-operative members in Singapore through its 66 affiliated co-operatives.

ica prez health 1

Next, they visited NTUC Health Co-operative Wisma Geylang Serai facility where the CEO Ms Chan Su Yee and her team presented how volunteers form an integral part of their integrated approach to the seniors' physical and mental needs. After the Q&A session, the ICA delegation was given a tour of the facility. 


Ica Prez Health 2NTUC Health Co-operative is one of Singapore’s largest eldercare service providers and operates a chain of dental clinics. Building on more than four decades of experience and expertise,  NTUC Health Co-operative provides an integrated suite of health and eldercare services to meet the growing needs of families and their dependents. These include senior day care, nursing homes, active ageing and home care. Its goal is to enable individuals to age well within their communities and homes, empowering them to keep in good health, build social networks and continue to do the things they enjoy.

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During lunch the ICA delegation was able to learn and exchange ideas with Mr Yeo Chun Fing, SNCF Second Deputy Chairman and Chairman of AUPE Credit Co-operative, Dr Leong Choon Kit, Chairman of GP+ Co-operative, and Ms Adeline Kee, Head of Finance of NTUC Health Co-operative. SNCF Campus and Youth team were able to share their stories with the ex-youth representative to ICA Global Board, Gabriela.


Ica Prez Mccy RcsAfter lunch, the ICA President held a meeting with Deputy Secretary & Head of Strategic Department of Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth Philip Ong, Registrar of Co-operative Societies Ms Kristy Ho and teams before heading to the SNCF Bicentennial Pop-art event at AMK Hub.


Ica Prez Bc3 2The Bicentennial Pop-art event is part of a series of art-themed pop-ups by the Singapore National Co-operative Federation in conjunction with The Singapore Bicentennial. It is the third in a series of four art-themed pop-ups titled “Coming Together as One Through Art” by SNCF.


The ICA delegation also visited the various NTUC co-operatives located at the AMK Hub.




Ica Prez LhubThe visit ended at NTUC LearningHub Co-operative where they met CEO Mr Kwek Kok Kwong and team. They were given a briefing on the NTUC LearningHub Co-operative, one of Singapore’s largest continuing education and training providers. NTUC LearningHub Co-operative aims to democratise knowledge and skills. It generates its own content and works with world-leading content providers, making them accessible to workers. It strives to equip workers with Adaptive, Technology and Technical Skills to stand ready for Industry 4.0.

By the end of the visit, the ICA delegation have a better understanding of the Singapore Co-operative Movement, and the operating landscape.

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