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CaribDEs recognised at 31st AGM of the SVG Cooperative League Ltd

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The local network of Caribbean Development Educators (CaribDEs), an association of credit union professionals trained to promote the cooperative principles and credit union values as distinct advantages in advancing economic and social development{{more}} at all levels of society, were recognized at the 31st Annual General Meeting of the SVG Cooperative League Ltd.

The special tribute was paid to the CaribDEs on Saturday, May 28, at the organization’s headquarters in Paul’s Avenue, Kingstown.

The group was also commended for taking the initiative to work closely with the Cooperative League IYC Coordinating Committee in designing and implementing a programme of activities to commemorate the UN designated International Year of Cooperatives (2012).

The AGM, held under the theme “Cooperatives Building a Better World”, attracted 52 delegates from all nine member credit unions of the League.

The cooperative leaders acknowledged that the financial and economic landscape has irrevocably changed both nationally and internationally. They unanimously agreed that adjusting to the new realities which now exist and continue to emerge requires the application of capacity development and consolidation strategies, geared towards creating economies of scale, improving operational efficiencies, and more effectively leveraging the cooperative sector’s capital and membership as a growth strategy to expand market share.

At the meeting, delegates also formally adopted a resolution committing the League to work closely with the directorate and management of credit unions to devise and implement a plan-of-action for voluntary amalgamation not later than May 31, 2011.

With more people in need of social and financial security and access to credit today, the AGM also made a strong commitment to accelerating the implementation of other planned consolidation programmes. These include the launch of the SVG Small Business and Microfinance Cooperative Ltd (COMFI) as a more viable means of providing microfinance for agriculture and small businesses, a centralized credit union loan protection and life savings insurance scheme, and a pooled fund to support death benefit and other social services for credit union members.

With assets in excess of EC$305 million, deposits of EC$292 million, loans of EC$183 million and a combined net worth of EC$44 million, the credit union industry remains a principal source of savings and credit for more than 70 percent of the economically active population and a substantial base of the national economy.

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