Global300 urged to back international development scheme

4 Apr 2012


The world’s largest co-operatives were today (4 April) urged to back an international development scheme that will ensure a legacy remains from the United Nations’ (UN) International Year of Co-operatives 2012. 
Dame Pauline Green, President of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) has written to CEOs of the largest 300 co-operatives around the world calling on their support for the Global Development Co-operative (GDC). 
The GDC aims to provide much needed finance to co-operatives in developing countries.  It plans to raise US$50m and provide access to low cost loans for capital and infrastructure projects*. 
It already has the backing of a number of co-operatives businesses from across the globe.  The All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Co-operatives, Credit Cooperatif of France, IFFCO of India and Canada’s The Co-operators have pledged their support.  Whilst Mid-Counties Co-operative and The Co-operative Group from the UK have also committed to invest in the initiative. 
Dame Pauline Green said: “This project is a clear illustration of one of the founding principles of the movement - self help among co-operatives. 
“The global movement is working together like never before as a result of the UN year.  The GDC provides a further opportunity for it to work together to help members in the developing world to progress. 
“Turnover of the global 300 represents more than $1.6tn per annum.  We anticipate that many of these businesses will want to support the GDC and make a tangible contribution to its success.” 
The Co-operative Bank is providing technical and administrative support to the GDC as part of its parent’s – The Co-operative Group - pioneering Ethical Plan, a three year rolling programme that sets out goals and targets to drive its ethical and co-operative aspirations. 
Paul Flowers, Chairman at The Co-operative Bank**, said: “We’ve been delighted with the level of support and interest shown in the GDC since it was announced at the UN in New York to coincide with the launch of the International Year. 
“But we need other large co-operatives to support the initiative and help play their part in extending the reach and benefits of the co-operative model in developing countries.” 
Co-operatives help social and economic progress in developing countries by creating and sustaining jobs and reducing poverty.  However, funding is often scarce because traditional lenders are either not active in this market, or do not sufficiently understand the co-operative business model, or because businesses have limited collateral to put forward. 

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