Dame Pauline Green, President of International Co-operative Alliance, visited China this week to participate in the 'Cooperatives Boosting Sustainable Development' conference held in Beijing.
As part of the country's International Year celebrations, Dame Pauline said during the meeting that in spite of the current global economic slowdown caused by the financial crisis, China has made remarkable development achievements.
“We hope that both sides can co-operate in more areas, and jointly promote China's economy and co-operatives. The ICA can provide assistance to All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives to carry out our domestic and foreign projects and promote more mutually beneficial exchanges among China and other member states.”
Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu also attended the conference and gave a speech on behalf of the Chinese government. He said co-operatives continue to play a major role in ensuring China’s social equity and promoting sustainable development: “Co-operatives are an important force in the development of social production forces. They promote economic development and prosperity, social fairness and justice. Through co-operatives we can achieve common prosperity.
"In recent years more and more co-operatives have opened the marked for farmers, by transforming decentralized management into a professional co-operative. Co-operatives have enabled China’s agricultural modernisation”.
During his keynote speech, Yang Chuantang, Director of All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives, said the Chinese government places a strong emphasis on the development of co-operatives through the All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives.
“The current tortuous and assiduous nature of world economic recovery has further highlighted the role co-operatives play in development. Although many difficulties and challenges are rising, this is a moment of opportunity for co-operatives and they must continue to be innovative in both conceptual and practical ways and work together towards achieving sustainable development," he said.
“We must seize the opening offered by the International Year of Co-operatives. Many promotional activities are carried out and this can accelerate the development of co-operatives and boost economic growth."
Blue Read, Chair of New Zealand Cooperatives Association, was also present at the symposium, said: “The New Zealand Cooperatives Association and the All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives have been working together for a number of years now and we look forward to developing this relationship further."