Strong trading network among producers and consumer co-operativess is an area that can transform the way co-ops do business. In line with Principle 6 - Cooperation among Cooperatives, the ICA-AP has been encouraging interactions among others, consumer co-operatives, co-operative Insurance and banking; exploring ways to promote exchanges; and conducting workshops to strengthen capacity of members in Co-operative-to-Co-operative Trade (C2C). The Malaysia Business Office (MBO), established in 2013 has been working to facilitate trade linkages. A lot of ideas emerged during these interactions such as need of a trade portal, directory for co-op products, e-commerce, etc. For a more concerted action, it was felt necessary to constitute a Committee on Trade and Business that would provide direction and leadership in C2C. The formation of the Committee was approved by the 12th Regional Assembly on November 18, 2016. The overall aim of this committee is to promote the development of sound and effective trade and business and to develop appropriate policies and programs. In this respect, the committee will undertake suitable advocacy work and formulate viable strategies from time-to-time to build the trade sector. In terms of membership, the committee shall consist of persons/organizations working in the field of trade and business in the member-organization
The first meeting of the Committee on Trade and Business was attended by members from All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperative, Angkasa (Malaysia), Federation of Peoples’ Sustainable Development Coop (Philippines), Iran Chamber of Commerce, National Agriculture Cooperative Federation (Korea), National Cooperative Bank Limited (Nepal), and Japanese Consumer Cooperative Union. Datuk Abdul Fattah Abdullah from Angkasa, Malaysia was elected as Chair and Mr. Alireza Gharagozlu from ICC, Iran as Vice Chair. Incidentally, both are members of the Regional Board.
The Committee on Trade and Business will work closely with the Malaysia Business Office, increase members in the committee (from among those heading subsidiary commercial organizations and those involved in purchasing), develop business connections, facilitate business inquiry and explore the creation of a database of products. During the General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur in November, the committee will encourage participation from members in the region and outside in the Cooperative products exhibition.