ST. PAUL, Minn. (10/1/12)--In the spirit of the International Year of Cooperatives, Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) staff met with Indonesian cooperative representatives Tuesday to discuss government oversight, credit unions and industry growth.
Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) staff met with Indonesian cooperative representatives Tuesday to discuss the growth and development of the U.S. and Minnesota cooperative movements. (Photo provided by Minnesota Credit Union Network.)
The meeting was part of the group's two-week tour of Minnesota and Wisconsin cooperatives, focused on learning about the U.S. government's role in regulating the co-op industry. The event tied into MnCUN's yearlong efforts to raise awareness of the International Year of Cooperatives and the impact that cooperatives have on society.
2012 was designated by the United Nations to be the IYC, with the theme "Cooperatives build a better world."
The Indonesian representatives, which included the adviser to the Indonesian Minister of Cooperatives and two cooperative experts, visited MnCUN to learn about the structure, development and growth of Minnesota credit unions. Citing the challenges facing the relatively young Indonesian cooperative movement, the Indonesian representatives described the country's desire to learn from cooperatives and credit unions in the U.S.
MnCUN staff provided an overview of the organization's role in helping the state's credit unions grow and thrive. Department managers highlighted the organization's work in governmental affairs, education, compliance and communications. Staff also outlined MnCUN's for-profit activities and the role they play in providing products and services to state credit unions.
Focusing on credit unions' interaction with the government, MnCUN representatives explained how credit unions are regulated at the state and federal levels. Staff described the compliance burden currently faced by credit unions and the ways in which MnCUN and Minnesota credit unions work to affect and change regulatory and legislative policies.
"Through this exchange, Minnesota and Indonesia--two places that are a world apart from each other--were able to share ideas and expertise and collaborate on the issues facing cooperatives around the world," said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN president/CEO. "Visits like this one, and thousands of others like it around the world, demonstrate how the principles of cooperatives transcend across countries and cultures."
The Indonesian group's tour also included visits to the Credit Union National Association, World Council of Credit Unions, the Cooperative Network, Land O'Lakes, Stewart Grocery Cooperative and Landmark Services Corp.