Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) shakes hands with delegates to the VCA's 5th national congress on July 19 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s cooperative economy potential has not been tapped, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said, asking to study related success stories around the world to promote new-style cooperatives.

He made the remark at the fifth national congress of the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA) in Hanoi on July 19, noting that almost all cooperatives nationwide are small-sized with poor capacity.

While their operations have yet to meet members’ demand, some local authorities haven’t fully understood the role of the cooperatives in economic development and social stability.

Domestic and global experience showed that connecting separate smallholders to form cooperatives and cooperative unions is the best way to improve the livelihoods of the millions of farming households, he said.

The PM stressed that a new cooperative model must be created by cooperatives’ members, not imposed by authorities.

He asked the VCA to closely work with authorised agencies to create optimal conditions to spur cooperatives’ operations and their members’ creativity.

Meanwhile, ministries and local administrations should have thorough understanding of cooperatives’ role so as to provide support policies and conditions they need.

The VCA’s fifth national congress for the 2016 – 2020 tenure was attended by 546 official delegates representing about 30 million labourers across the country.

At the event, VCA Vice Chairman Nguyen Dac Thang reported that 5,000 cooperatives and 150,000 cooperative groups were set up over the last five years, contributing about 5 percent to the national GDP. The sector recorded an average 3 percent growth between 2012 and 2014.-VNA