Ministry of Economy and International Cooperative Alliance sign MoU to strengthen national cooperative sector
The Ministry of Economy (MoE) and the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop the structure of the UAE’s project to strengthen the national cooperative sector. The partnership forms part of the Ministry's strategy to improve the performance of the country’s cooperative sector and increase its contribution to the national economy. The MoU was signed by, and Balasubramanian Iyer, Regional Director of the Alliance, on behalf of the ICA.
H.E. Abdullah Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy said that the partnership will help raise the work environment in the country's cooperative sector to new levels. He explained that under the framework of the MoU, joint actions will be taken along with the ICA to contribute to the development of flexible and proactive legislation that will further empower the cooperative model and regulate its governance. This in turn will enhance the readiness of the UAE’s cooperative work environment and increase its contribution to the growth of the country’s non-oil GDP. In addition, this MoU serves the Ministry of Economy’s objectives and integrated strategy to achieve qualitative development in the cooperative sector to enable it to play a direct role in the diversification and competitiveness of the national economy.
The Ministry of Economy aspires to set a first-of-its-kind comprehensive strategy to develop the cooperative sector in the UAE in three stages. This strategy includes training for the entities that supervise the cooperative sector and acquainting them with the latest international practices and methods. It is also set to launch a joint committee with the membership of cooperatives, as well as federal and local entities that supervise the sector, to oversee the implementation of the strategy, in collaboration with the Ministry. The strategy also sets out to promote joint efforts by the Ministry and its partners to promote the national cooperative sector.
By the end of 2020, the number of cooperative societies in their various forms in the UAE reached nearly 42, including 20 consumer societies, 13 for fishermen, 7 societies in other fields, two cooperative unions, and 200 outlets and branches all over the country. The total value of the cooperative sector amounted to AED 3.1 billion, and its net profit amounted to more than AED 1 billion at the end of the same year, while the number of shareholders in cooperatives amounted to about 97,000 contributing members until the end of 2020.
The International Cooperatives Alliance, which was established in 1895, is one of the oldest non-governmental organizations, and is the largest global cooperative organization that includes cooperative organizations from 112 countries. The International Cooperative Alliance operates in various economic sectors, most notably agriculture, banking, consumer services, fisheries, health services, housing, insurance, industry, and service industry.