Vietnam will cooperate fully with the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and other countries to ensure cooperatives thrive and become more productive.

Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Dang Khoa stated this in his speech at the 9 th Asia-Pacific Cooperative Ministers’ Conference in Bangkok from Feb. 27-29.

Khoa said that Vietnam’s agricultural sector has developed well with a variety of products now gaining a strong foothold in international markets such as rice, coffee, rubber and nuts.

He added that incomes and living standards are gradually improving, which helps many rural areas in Vietnam to improve the stability of cooperatives.

Also speaking at the conference, ICA President Pauline Green cited the UN’s view that cooperatives now improve the living standards of 50 percent of the world’s population.

Green added that the ICA announces the list of the 300 largest cooperatives around the world each year. Currently, the total capital and assets of these top cooperatives amounts to 1.6 trillion USD, equivalent to that of Spain, the world’s ninth largest economy.

Also at the event, Vietnam discussed bilateral cooperation with Malaysia, especially between Vietnam’s Cooperative Alliance and the Cooperative College of Malaysia. The delegation also met with their counterparts from Thailand and several other countries.-VNA