Cooperar connects Argentine diplomats with world’s co-ops

The national apex arranged meetings between the country’s ambassadors and foreign co-op leaders to mark the International Day of Co-operatives

Argentina’s national co-op confederation, Cooperar, marked the International Day of Co-operatives on 1 July by organising meetings between the country’s ambassadors and representatives of co-op movements abroad.

The meetings were part of Cooperar’s campaign to promote the day, run in partnership with the Foreign Ministry. Argentina’s ambassador to México, Carlos Tomada, was one of the dignitaries receiving co-operative leaders from his host country. 

“Not only are we gratified to be the meeting place for the Mexican co-operative movement,” he said, “but I personally feel like one more co-operative member and I am proud to represent a country that has a co-operative sector as powerful as ours.”

Ambassadors also met with leaders of co-operative organisations in India, Vietnam, Bulgaria, South Korea, Egypt, the United States, Brazil and Spain, and Colombia.

“This is the result of a systematic and planned work of our confederation together with the Foreign Ministry,” the secretary of International Relations of Cooperar, Carlos Mansilla, said in a press release. He added that having Cooperar president Ariel Guarco at the helm of the International Cooperative Alliance provided an extra recognition for the country’s movement.

As part of this initiative, the Argentine ambassador to Bulgaria, Alfredo Atanasof, met with representatives of his host country’s Central Cooperative Union. Similarly, the Ambassador of Argentina to Egypt, Gonzalo Urriolabeitia, Gonzalo Urriolabeitia, engaged with leaders of Egypt’s co-ops.

“In Argentina, since the 19th century, co-operatives have played a central role in socioeconomic, rural and urban development, particularly in the most remote areas,” said Urriolabeitia. “Today they represent 10% of the national economy and account for 5% of Argentine exports. Egypt is one of the most dynamic destinations for agricultural co-operative exports.”

Meanwhile, Hugo Javier Gobbi, ambassador to India, met with four of that country’s national co-op organisations which, he said, “provided the opportunity to exchange views on the opportunities and challenges facing co-operatives in India and the aspirations towards a global co-operative paradigm”.

The Cooperative Alliance of Vietnam met Argentine ambassador Pablo Beltramino, exploring the possibility of a memorandum of understanding between the alliance and Cooperar to carry out “future concrete action plans, particularly meetings with a work agenda, exchange of experiences, joint co-operation in international meetings and actions for the expansion of trade and investment”.

Similar meetings were also held by the ambassador to Spain, Ricardo Alfonsín; the ambassador to the USA, Jorge Argüello; and the Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Alfredo Bascou.