Annan urges business cooperatives to pursue mergers to succeed

In a message to mark the International Day of Cooperatives, Mr. Annan urged cooperatives “to adapt to the new realities of the wider marketplace.”He said cooperatives – where members of an association or group form an economic business and then share any profits or losses equally between them – can take advantage of globalization, using information technology and expanding their product range to expand beyond their traditionally local concerns.Mr. Annan stressed that developing networks among cooperatives allows them to share marketing opportunities and financial know-how. He also suggested they consider mergers.“Where meaningful, the mergers of cooperatives within sectors can help reduce costs, raise efficiencies and increase bargaining power,” he said.But the Secretary-General added that governments and international organizations must play their part to ensure that cooperatives and other small businesses can enjoy a level playing field in the world economy.

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