JAKARTA (joint press release): Cooperatives provide some 100 million jobs around the world. Cooperatives also play an important role in economic development particularly rural development worldwide, including Indonesia. It is estimated that 50 per cent of global agricultural output is marketed through cooperatives.
In Indonesia, there are approximately 192.443 cooperatives up to May 2012 with a total of 33.68 million members or 14,14 per cent of the total population. Most of these cooperatives (around 70 per cent) are located in rural areas. The cooperative movement in Indonesia is considered as one of the largest civil society organizations as well as social enterprises with great potential in rural development and employment creation.
In responding to the increasing role of cooperatives in poverty reduction and economic as well as social development, the International Labour Organization (ILO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Allianz, a private insurance company, will organize a one-day seminar titled “Reducing Poverty and Creating Jobs through Cooperatives” on Tuesday, 12 June, at SME Tower, Jakarta. The seminar is conducted in conjunction with the commemoration of the International Year of Cooperatives.
The seminar will be officially opened by HE. Dr. Syarief Hasan, Minister for Cooperatives and SMEs, Handojo Kusuma, Vice President Director Allianz Life Indonesia, and Peter van Rooij, Country Director of the ILO in Indonesia. The seminar is aimed to raise the awareness of cooperative values and principles as well as the important roles of cooperatives as an alternative means of doing business.
In addition, the seminar brings together national, provincial and district governments, together with social partners, and identify how they can work together to develop effective strategies and generate better policy recommendations to enhance contributions of cooperatives to socio-economic development in Indonesia.
“The year of 2012 is an important year for the cooperatives. I greatly welcome the organization of the seminar as it is in line with the government’s goal and programme to revitalize and improve the cooperative movement as the small and joint business ventures are the key to boost the economic growth that, in turn, will reduce poverty and create more job opportunities,” said HE. Syarief Hasan, Minister for Cooperatives and SMEs.
He also emphasized the importance of joint collaboration with the private sector as well as international agencies, including United Nations’ agencies. “Learning from experiences of other countries will benefit Indonesia as we could apply the lessons learned, tools and methodologies that are available for replication. At the same time, our partners could also learn experiences of Indonesia in managing the huge potentials of cooperatives.”
“The ILO views cooperatives as important in improving the living and working conditions of women and men globally as well as making essential infrastructure and services available. Deeply rooted in local communities, cooperatives as business organization contribute to economic development and have acted as sources of jobs and livelihoods in their own communities,” said Peter van Rooij, the ILO’s Country Director in Indonesia.
In the seminar, the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs, ILO and Allianz will launch a joint programme on micro insurance and financial education through cooperatives. The joint programme is aimed to enhance financial literacy of cooperative members. In addition, the programme is also aimed to increase the capacity of the members in managing risks to help them stay above the poverty level should a crisis hit (health crisis, loss of employment, and so forth).
“We are delighted to partner with the the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs and ILO to socialize micro insurance and financial education through cooperatives. Currently, microinsurance has emerged as a new tool for low-income groups of society to protect their families against life-cycle risks. The joint programme gives strong evidence of our commitment to provide insurance services to a broad range of people in the society as much as we want to be able to give back to our society,” said Handojo Kusuma, Vice President Director Allianz Life Indonesia.
Allianz Life in collaboration with Allianz Peduli Foundation, ILO, and Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs have decided to improve risk protection services and financial literacy for unbanked, low-income groups by enabling cooperatives to serve as partners for insurance providers and by providing training on financial education. By working with cooperatives, Allianz will explore the market potential for micro insurance products and gain insight in the insurance needs from selected cooperatives.
To empower the selected cooperatives as its partners, Allianz Life will equip them with knowledge through class-training on how to distribute, manage and administer insurance products and prepare cooperatives to be a competent partner of private insurance providers.
The International Year of Cooperatives is declared by the United Nations to draw attention to and encourage action on major issues. The Year is intended to raise public awareness of the invaluable contributions of cooperative enterprises to poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. The Year will also highlight the strengths of the cooperative business model as an alternative means of doing business and furthering socioeconomic development.
For further information please contact:
Public Relations of Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs
Tel.: +6221 5299 2798
ILO’s Programme Coordinator and Enterprise Specialist
Tel: +6221 391 3112 ext. 142
ILO’s Media Relations Officer
Tel.: +6221 391 3112 ext. 115
Corporate Communications Allianz Indonesia
Tel.: +6221 2926 8060