04/07/2015 10:58 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Italian region shares cooperative development expertise with Vietnam

Rome, July 3 (VNA) – The Italian region of Emilia-Romagna shared its experiences in developing cooperatives with a visiting delegation led by Vietnam Fatherland Front President Nguyen Thien Nhan on July 2.

At the workshop, Giovanni Monti – President of the Emilia-Romagna branch of the National League of Co-operatives and Mutuals (Legacoop) – said cooperatives in Italy date back more than 150 years and currently generate annual revenue of 45 billion EUR (about 49 billion USD), accounting for 8 percent of the country’s GDP.

The Emilia-Romagna region currently houses 3,500 cooperatives operating in agriculture, industry, construction, education, health care and goods retail. They are members of Legacoop and receive support from the league but operate independently, he noted.

Palma Costi, an official of the region, said cooperatives play an important role in the regional economy and many have become popular worldwide.

She added Emilia-Romagna, one of the wealthiest and most active regions of Italy, is promoting cooperation with Vietnam and especially Binh Duong province. It opened a representative office in the locality to enhance its business operations there.

At the function, major cooperatives of the Italian region like Coop Italian Food, Granarolo, Cefla and Cadiai shared their management and development experience and expressed their interest in boosting business partnerships with Vietnam.

Vietnam Fatherland Front President Nguyen Thien Nhan said his country is a global leading exporter of farm produce and is working towards sustainable agricultural development.

Despite that, it is facing difficulties in processing farm produce, building trademarks and selling products, he said, noting the lax connectivity among the 10 million farming households nationwide as hindering production and sales efficiency.

Nhan said the workshop was an opportunity for Vietnam to learn about the organisation and operation of cooperatives in Emilia-Romagna to help Vietnamese farmers improve their livelihoods. He hoped the region would continue to share experience and support Vietnam in creating food processing industrial parks.

The official also took the chance to present potential business opportunities in Vietnam with its abundant human resources and competitive labour costs, affirming that the Italian region could export its products to the Southeast Asian country with its market of over 90 million people.

At the workshop, a memorandum of understanding on cooperation was signed between the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance and Legacoop and Emilia - Romagna’s Union of the Chambers of Commerce.