Press Release

Mr. Ariel Guarco, President of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), will visit six countries in Asia from July 21 to August 1. The 12-day official tour will take him to Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, China, Korea and Japan. President Guarco will meet ICA members, call on Ministers and representatives in charge of cooperatives, and visit cooperatives to gain first-hand understanding of the movement in these countries

This is his third visit to Asia since taking over as President in 2017. In February 2019, he was in India and Vietnam as part of the High-Level Government of Argentina mission led by H.E. Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina. In 2018, Mr. Ariel Guarco joined 1,000 delegates at the Second Cooperative Congress of Nepal. He has visited China and Japan before assuming the Presidency, as well as Singapore in the capacity of a member of the ICA Board.

The six countries in Asia are home to some of the oldest and most vibrant cooperative movements in the world. They have a long-standing history of contributing to the economic, social and political development of their countries. Cooperatives from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, and Singapore figure in the World Cooperative Monitor which ranks the Top 300 cooperatives in the world in terms of turnover and turnover/GDP per capita. Cooperatives in these countries are not only improving livelihoods and contributing to the GDP, but also actively contributing to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
President Guarco will get a deeper insight of the cooperative movements in these countries, know first-hand the ground realities, hear the proposals and needs of members, and facilitate contact with relevant government bodies. His objective is to communicate about cooperatives as people-centred enterprises rooted in the territory and how the ICA is a democratic organization which seeks active participation of its members through the different regions and sectoral organizations to raise awareness. Since being elected as ICA President in November 2017, Mr. Guarco has visited more than 30 countries.


July 29, 2019


Cooperatives play a major role in Japan’s economy and are present all over the country. They form the mainstay of the rural economy through their presence in agriculture, fisheries, and forestry sector. From rural to urban, farmer to consumer, and young to elderly, cooperatives touch all section of Japanese society.

Contribution of cooperatives to Japan's economy

1.   65 million - number of Japanese who are members of cooperatives.

2.  US$ 145 billion- combined annual turnover of all cooperatives.

3.  37% of all households in Japan use products and services of consumer cooperatives.

4.  US$ ¼ of the total population has insurance provided by cooperatives.

5.  ¼ of the total deposits are held in cooperative banks.

5.  Half of the total output from farming, forestry and fisheries is sold through cooperatives.

Click here to view the Snapshot of Japan.

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