COLLABORATION, INNOVATION, AND INVESTMENT: COOPERATIVES DISCUSSED HOW TO UNLOCK THEIR POTENTIAL TO DRIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH IN IMT-GT

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The COOP@IMT-GT Conference and Seminar 2024, organized by Malaysia National Cooperative Movement (ANGKASA), ASEAN Cooperative Organisation (ACO), Centre for Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Subregional Cooperation (CIMT) and supported by Joint Business Council (JBC) Malaysia, brought together over 100 participants from Malaysia and Indonesia to explore the pivotal role of cooperatives in driving economic prosperity and social inclusion within the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) region.

Held on 29 May 2024 at Ixora Hotel in Penang, Malaysia, the Conference focused on three key themes: Policy Frameworks for Sustainable Cooperative Development, Financial Inclusion and Digital Transformation in the Cooperative Sector, and Cooperative Partnerships for Regional Economic Triumph.

Prominent speakers from the government, cooperatives, businesses and academia shared their insights and best practices on empowering communities through cooperative enterprises, innovations in cooperative business models, and policy interventions to support sustainable cooperative development.

Ms Duangruetai Surasakjinda, CIMT Deputy Director, highlighted that for cooperatives to truly unlock their full potential as drivers for subregional economic growth, we need collaboration, innovation and investment.

“Cooperatives have an immense potential to foster inclusive growth and address socio-economic challenges in the IMT-GT region,” said Datuk Seri Abdul Fattah, President of ANGKASA and ACO during the opening ceremony. “This conference provided a platform for stakeholders to collaborate and develop strategies to harness this potential.” he added.

Key highlights included panel discussions on leveraging digital technologies for financial inclusion, case studies of successful cooperative ventures, and recommendations for policy reforms to create an enabling environment for cooperative innovation.

The Conference also featured sessions with representatives from the Kota Dumai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Indonesia and the IMT-GT Joint Business Council (Malaysia), emphasizing the importance of cross-border collaboration and knowledge sharing.

With a strong commitment to cooperative development, the conference organizers and participants look forward to implementing the actionable strategies and initiatives discussed, fostering a thriving cooperative ecosystem in the region.

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