At present, there are more than 20,000 registered cooperatives in Vietnam, but a great number among them does not operate efficiently. This is caused by the history of the country. Joining the cooperative used to be compulsory for all farmers in order to do farming. Accordingly, cooperatives in the past (the so-called old-type cooperatives) were organized by the State, based on the form of centrally-planned economy. In addition, the policies of forcible equal distribution also caused the members not to play an active role in the business activities of the cooperative where they belonged to.
The Cooperative Law enacted in 2012 marked a milestone of the cooperative system as all old-type cooperatives were required to reorganize into so-called new-type cooperatives.
In the new-type cooperative, membership is based on voluntary basis, whereas each member is required to make a minimum contribution in order to use the services provided by the cooperative. Although cooperatives seemed to go through better development since the enacting of the cooperative law 2012, there are a lot of amendments required in order to support the movement of cooperatives in the country.
DGRV has been operating in Vietnam since the end of 1990s by providing support at all levels, from macro to meso and micro scale.
At macro level, DGRV has consulted the Vietnamese partners on developing and revising the cooperative law and various by-laws related to the model.
In the phase from 2021-2023, Vietnam, which is part of DGRVs regional WINGS project- Economic Inclusion through Sustainable Cooperative Systems in Asia, plans to provide technical and financial support for its partner, the Ministry of planning and Investment (MPI) to adjust the law to be more practical under the current circumstances.
Furthermore, due to failures of old-type cooperatives in the past, people in Vietnam have low trust in cooperatives in general, which hinders the participation of new members in cooperatives in particular.
With our experience in Germany and from our projects in other countries, we support the establishment of a cooperative audit system in Vietnam to improve the level of trust and confidence in cooperatives.
Over a long time, we have provided technical support to our partner VCA – Vietnam Cooperative Alliance, in order to build an own cooperative audit center. In this phase, we also plan to collaborate with the MOF – Ministry of Finance to prepare more concrete legal requirements for the cooperative audit.
Another topic is the collaboration with VCA and MARD- Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to build up a suitable curricular training system for agricultural cooperatives. With DGRVs support, several pilot mid-term courses for cooperative directors and members of advisory boards were organized already. In this phase, we focus on the development of national standards for the learning outcome and vocational skills for courses for cooperative directors of agricultural cooperatives.
Together with VCA and some provincial cooperative alliances – PCAs (DGRV is currently active in Hau Giang, Lam Dong, An Giang and Tra Vinh in the year of 2022), DGRV will assist to increase the institution´s capacity by a wide range of training classes. DGRV and its partners strongly believe that only with professional and skilled staff, VCA and PCAs can become a reliable partner and supporter for cooperatives, representatives of the low-income class and rural areas in Vietnam.
With the outspread of the COVID-19-pandemic, we have also recognized the necessity of building up an e-learning platform. The first target group of this e-learning platform is the staff of VCA and PCAs to provide capacity building also in times of the crisis.
After all, the long-term overall goal of the project is to strengthen the corresponding social system that is able to support the sector in the future, especially when Vietnam implements plenty of Free-Trade agreements that have been signed recently.
Some selected activities in the year 2022 are:
Ms. Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh
Ms. Anja Muthmann
Mr. Khanh Nguyen
Ms. Bui Thi Thu Thuy
Ms. Thi Hai Yen
Mr. Duy Tung
Ms. Xuan Quynh Nguyen
Ms. Ngo Thi Thanh Van
Ms. Do Thi Hong Ngan
Ms. Dao Bich Hanh
Mr. Kim Le Duc
Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA)
Agency for Cooperative Development – Ministry of Planning and Invesment (MPI)
MARD- Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development
MOF – Ministry of Finance / Audit Supervision Agency
Hau Giang Cooperative Alliance, Tra Vinh Cooperative Alliance, An Giang Cooperative Alliance, Lam Dong Cooperative Alliance
P042B, 4th Floor, Coco Building
14 Thuy Khue, Tay Ho District
T: (+84) 02438470945
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