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We’re delighted to share that ICA President Ariel Guarco recently completed his official tour to six countries in Asia. The 12-day tour took him to Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, China, Korea and Japan.


President Guarco met with ICA members, called on Ministers and representatives in charge of cooperatives, and visited cooperatives to gain first-hand understanding of the movement in these countries. This was his third visit to Asia since taking over as President in 2017. In April 2018, President Guarco joined 1000 delegates at the Second Cooperative Congress of Nepal. 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. 


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 are also actively contributing to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals


President Guarco’s expectations from the tour were to get a deeper insight of the cooperative movement in these countries, know first-hand the ground realities, hear the proposals and needs of members, and facilitate contact with relevant government bodies. We hope you enjoy the photo essay we have prepared capturing key moments from this tour!






President Guarco at the offices of the Federation of Savings and Credit Cooperatives Limited, Thailand and the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions. The seeds of the cooperative movement in Thailand were first sown by credit cooperatives as early as 1916. The thrift, credit and credit union cooperatives in Thailand constitute 30% of the cooperative sector in Thailand.








NTUC Health Co-operative CEO Ms. Chan Su Yee (centre in blue) receives a token of appreciation from President Guarco. NTUC Health Co-operative, one of Singapore’s largest eldercare service providers, offers a comprehensive and integrated suite of quality and affordable health and eldercare services: from senior day care, home care, nursing homes, rehabilitation, and active ageing, to community care services such as senior activity centres and support for vulnerable seniors.







President Guarco visits the Tofu and Tempe producers' cooperative. Indonesia is the world’s second largest consumer of soybeans (chief ingredient of tofu & tempe) for direct human consumption. Tempe and tofu makers who are SMEs account for approximately 90% of total domestic soybean consumption or production in Indonesia!







One of the last stops in China was at the Community Comprehensive Store, which connects rural producers and urban consumers. The store offers physical and online purchasing and real-time tracking of consumer purchase behavior!








Seen in this image are (L-R) the Argentinian Ambassador to Korea, H.E. Alfredo Carlos Bascou, NACF Chairman Kim Byeong Won and President Ariel Guarco. Cooperar Argentina and NACF Korea signed an MoU to enhance trade and inter-cooperation.









President Guarco met with the Japan Cooperative Alliance (JCA). JCA seeks to promote inter-cooperative collaborations, lobby for pro-cooperative policies, provide better information and education about cooperatives to the general public!