Cooperatives raise their voice at the B20

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Representatives of cooperative businesses call for greater inclusion of the cooperative perspective and for the recognition of their specific business model in the B20’s recommendations to the G20.

Representatives of cooperative businesses participated last week (14 November 2015) in the B20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey, preceding the G20 meetings. They called for greater inclusion of the cooperative perspective and for the recognition of their specific business model in B20 recommendations to the G20.

They reminded the B20 delegates of the size and impact of the global cooperative sector, citing from the recently released 2015 edition of the World Co-operative Monitor, which shows 7% growth in turnover for the 300 largest cooperatives alone, aggregating USD 2.4 trillion. 250 million people are employed by or organise their living through a cooperative.

Monique Leroux, Chair and CEO of Desjardins Group, and newly elected President of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), called for the recognition of the diversity of business models, in particular in financial regulations. "We need an appropriate calibration of the rules to avoid any adverse effects for financial cooperatives, because they are fundamental for financing growth and, in particular, financing SMEs", Ms. Leroux said. She was joined by Jean-Louis Bancel, President of the International Co-operative Banking Association.

Charles Gould, Director-General of the ICA, stated 'We see the B20 as an important venue for a range of issues essential to co-operatives as they are for all businesses. We appreciate being welcomed in this forum and encourage a greater inclusion of the impact and potential of the co-operative model in B20 recommendations.'

Speaking on behalf of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), Shaun Tarbuck, CEO, informed B20 delegates of a new initiative, the ICMIF 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy, which will be promoted at the COP21 meetings in Paris in early December 2015. The 5-5-5 Strategy aims out to reach out to 5 million uninsured, low-income households in 5 countries over 5 years; this would thereby provide 25 million more people with microinsurance coverage by 2020 to help mitigate the impact of natural disasters and climate change.  This target equates to 25% of the private sector portion of the overall G7 commitment to reach 400 million more people by 2020. Insurance cooperatives and mutuals are the fastest-growing portion of the insurance industry, now providing 27% of the global insurance market.

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