Sixty Years of ICA in Asia and the Pacific
Celebrating Cooperation

The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) came to the Asia-Pacific region with the establishment of the Regional Office and Education Center (ICA ROEC) in 1960, as a result of the discussions that had taken place at the various ICA Congresses since 1948. The ICA ROEC was opened on November 14, 1960, by late Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India. ICA ROEC was the first to be set up by the ICA as the precursor and a model for other regional offices.

Given the commendable work done by the ICA ROEC and based on demands made by cooperators from the region at various fora, the scope and area of operations were gradually expanded to cover all countries in Asia and the Pacific region. The office was called ICA Regional Office for South-East Asia from 1960 to 1963; the ICA Regional Office for Asia from 1963 to 1990; and since 1990 as the International Cooperative Alliance Asia Pacific (ICA-AP). The Regional Office has been situated in New Delhi (India) from the start with branch offices in Singapore (1999 to 2012) and Malaysia (2013 onwards).

Starting with 7 members from 6 countries, the ICA-AP today serves 109 member organizations from 32 countries. ICA-AP has worked to unite, promote, and develop the character and nature of cooperatives. It has been able to consolidate the thought-process within the movement in the region and provide platforms for discussions and exchange of experiences and mutual collaboration. Over the past 60 years, it has helped in the development of cooperatives, assisted in the improvement of managerial and decision-making capacity of the members, and strengthened the knowledge base of members in the region.

ICA-AP from its early days has forged partnerships with governments, civil society organizations, and international development agencies. The Regional Office began with a national campaign and a fund “Without Boundaries” launched by Kooperativa Forbundet (KF, Swedish Cooperative Union and Wholesale Society) in 1958 to secure the support of the Swedish cooperators. The Government of India and the National Cooperative Union of India extended full moral and financial support to host the office. The Government of Japan and its cooperative movement (JA-Zenchu, JCCU) have been sponsoring several training programs for managers and women leaders of cooperatives.The ILO, FAO, IFAD, UNDESA and most recently the European Union have extended support to the development of cooperatives. Members from China (ACFSMC), India (NCUI, IFFCO), Korea (NACF), Malaysia (ANGKASA) and Singapore (SNCF) have supported various development initiatives and the branch offices.

The Asia-Pacific region is home to two-thirds of the world’s population (around 4.58 billion) living in 53 countries and territories. The COVID-19 pandemic has for the time being dented the region’s economic growth, potentially increased the number of people living in poverty, and stalled the aspirations of its young population. At the same time, it has shown the need to look beyond current models which value short-term gain over long-term viability, increase inequality, lower social capital, and create environmental imbalances. The need is for cooperatives which center collective action to build a better world; new forms of cooperatives to emerge in light of the socio-economic-environmental needs; and communication tuned to show the relevance of the model to an aspiring young generation.

Cooperatives in the region have, in the face of adversity, be it natural or manmade, shown their relevance, proven their resilience, and demonstrated their endurance. The challenges and urgency have magnified post the pandemic and the relevance of cooperatives in the region has never been greater. The work for the ICA-AP and cooperatives in the region is cut out for the next sixty years!

November 13, 2020

Zoom Meetings:
Meeting ID: 938 8693 4542
Password: 639004

Glimpses from the past

Video Message

Our Legacy: ICA-AP Member Organisations

The Map below shows 109 members from 32 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Program Schedule

Novemeber 13, 2020 (Friday) from 11:00-13:00 Indian Standard Time (GMT + 5:30)

Hosts for the events Ms. Savitri Singh and Ms. Simren Singh, ICA-AP

Friday, November 13 2020

Session Facilitators
Welcome Remarks

Balasubramanian Iyer, Regional Director

Keynote Speech (Video)

Ariel Guarco, President (ICA)

Presidential Address

Li Chunsheng, President (ICA-AP)

Special Messgae

Mr. Sung-hee Lee, Chairman, National Agriculture Cooperative Federation, Korea

Host Country Address

Dr. Chandrapal S. Yadav, President, National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI); Vice President, ICA-AP

ICA - Greetings

Mr. Bruno Roelants, Director-General, ICA

Voices From The Past

Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary (Cooperation & GC), Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India

Ms. Simel Esim, Manager ILO COOP

Mr. Robby Tulus, Regional Director (1996-2001) online/video

Moderator- Mohit Dave

Dr. Chan-Ho Choi, Regional Director (2010-2014)

Mr. Amano Haruyoshi, JCCU

Mr. A.H.Ganesan, Program Officer (1962-1999)

Our Legacy

Mr. Toru Nakaya, Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives, Japan – message

Mr. Dato' Abdul Fattah Abdullah, ANGKASA, Malaysia

Central Cooperative Society, Myanmar

Moderator- Dr. Yashwanth Dongre

Mr. Sarath Weerasiri, National Cooperative Council of Sri Lanka

Mr. N. Satyanarayana, NCUI, India

Member and Committee Testimonies

Dr. U.S. Awasthi, Managing Director, Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (video)

Dr. Nandini Azad, Chairperson ICA-AP Committee on Women (tbc)

Mr. Kok Kwong Kwek, Chairman, Singapore National Cooperative Federation, Singapore (video)

Moderator - Dr. Mallika Kumar

Mr. Bhima Subhramanyam,Chairman, International Cooperative Banking Association (video)

Mr. Min Raj Kadel, Chairman, National Cooperative Federation of Nepal

Iran Central Chamber of Cooperative (tbc)

Mr. Ahsan Ali Thakur, Chairman, ICA-AP Committee on Youth (tbc)

Closing Remarks

Balasubramanian Iyer

Revisit the Celebrations

Webinar pictures

Visit ICA-AP website

Drop A Message

Social Media Activity