A national forum on the collective economy and cooperatives with the theme “Opportunities and challenges of collective economic development” and a conference reviewing 15 years of the implementation of Politburo Resolution No. 13 on renewing, developing, and improving the efficiency of the collective economy and cooperatives was held on October 14 with the attendance of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The Prime Minister stressed at the forum that developing the collective economy must start from people’s demand. He suggested learning from international experience to fully tap into the power of new-style cooperatives and collective economic models. “Mechanisms to develop cooperatives and working groups must be fine-tuned, and coordination with other economic sectors, especially businesses, strengthened towards opening up more new markets for farmers,” he said.

He also asked for the facilitation of workplace training, land and finance-credit policies, science-technology, and infrastructure upgrades, requiring the advantages and potential of cooperative models be utilized to make profound changes in agricultural production and rural lives.

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said the outcomes of the teleconference will serve as important scientific research to report to the Politburo, contributing to policymaking in the near future.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), compared with 2013, the number of cooperatives has increased by 8,500 but the number of members fell by 358,000 people. In particular, in the 2013-2018 period (implementing the Law on Cooperatives from 2012), there were 11,200 new cooperatives established and 5,980 dissolved. The contribution of the cooperative sector to GDP is declining after 15 years of implementing Resolution 13 (by an annual average of about 4 per cent).

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said that since the introduction of the resolution 15 years ago and the adoption of the Law on Cooperatives in 2012, the number of effective cooperatives has continued growing, accounting for 55 per cent of agricultural cooperatives and about 50-80 per cent of non-agricultural cooperatives.

After 15 years of implementing Resolution No. 13, although the world economic situation in general and Vietnam’s in particular exhibits much instability, high public debt, and limited budgets, the cooperative sector has operated quite stably, according to Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Thanh Thong.

President of the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance, Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Bao, said that the forum aimed at collecting mechanisms and policies to promote the collective economy and evaluate new styles of collectives in localities as well as policies to promote collectives.

The forum attracted 500 delegates, from ministries, sectors, local authorities, political and social organizations, cooperative alliances in the country’s 63 cities and provinces, experts, and scientists.