Minister of Commerce and Trade, Senator Haynesley Benn

The International Day of Cooperatives, which was celebrated this past Saturday, was marked by a call for Barbadians to adopt a culture of investment.

Speaking at the Barbados Co-operative and Credit Union League Ltd. (BCCULL) Leadership Forum at the Hilton Barbados, Minister of Commerce and Trade, Senator Haynesley Benn, observed that "in life, you cannot do anything on your own" and stressed the need for persons to co-operate.

In addressing a panel discussion which focused on Unlocking the Full Economic Potential of Non-Financial Co-operatives, the Minister said that he wanted the co-operative body "to go out in the schools and start the movement again, and to build on it.?? Teach the youngsters to invest".???? He noted that collaborative efforts could render real benefits to those involved, but this could only become a reality if the community and other groups invested in themselves.

Secretary of the Barbados Agricultural Trading and Investment Co-operative Society Ltd., Oriel Doyle, made a similar call during his presentation and suggested that a Co-operative Investment Fund be created to promote a culture of investment.

"In order for a co-operative organisation to succeed there must be a need.?? What is the most important need now that is facing us Barbadians??? You just have to listen to the call-in programmes. We want in participate meaningfully in the economic life of this country. Is that what is happening?

"Create a Co-operative Investment Fund…This funding will finance co-operative ventures and participate in government divestment efforts…We need to stimulate interest in the co-operative activity in this country, we’re not doing that right now and we need to expand investment opportunities for co-operatives in Barbados," Mr. Doyle advised.

He added that the Fund would create a more cohesive society and expand the co-operative movement, which would be advantageous for all.??

International Co-operative Day, is celebrated on the first Saturday of July, with 2012 being observed as the International Year of Co-operatives.


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