Message from Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development to celebrate International Credit Union Day,

As we commemorate the 71st International Credit Union Day, we reflect on the theme for this year, “Local Service, Global Reach.” This is an especially fitting theme, since credit unions serve local communities and in the spirit of true co-operation, provide benefits that form part of the global credit union movement’s mission.  It is this very same community-centred approach that distinguishes the credit union as a financial services provider- the core focus on people.

The Credit Union Movement has been defined by the core values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity.  The annual observance of International Credit Union Day on the third Thursday of October affords credit unions worldwide a special day to laud the impact and achievements of the movement. For well over a century, credit unions have continued to determinedly flourish in the face of myriad local and international socioeconomic challenges.

In Trinidad and Tobago, the Credit Union Movement started from humble beginnings, with many of our early founders meeting in homes, churches and halls. Over time, our local credits unions have risen to become key players in the provision of financial services to members which may not have been easily accessible to them through other financial institutions. Thus, the credit union movement in Trinidad and Tobago empowers members to not only improve their lives but also establish a sound foundation upon which their families can build a secure future.

The Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development has hosted consultations with its stakeholders on the National Policy of Co-operatives and the Policy Proposal Paper for the amendment of legislation pertaining to Co-operatives. The policy areas include economic diversity, social empowerment, inclusion and entrepreneurial development. The Government is therefore seeking to bolster legal and institutional framework to strengthen the governance and leadership of the Credit Union and Co-operative movement in order to support sustainable growth for the movement and promote the role of co-operatives in national development.

As Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development, I am a firm believer in the credit union model and I have experienced the numerous benefits of credit union membership for most of my life. On this auspicious occasion, I specially acknowledge and thank the champions of the Credit Union Movement in Trinidad and Tobago who have laboured tirelessly in founding and fortifying the robust institutions which we, as a nation, now enjoy.

I proudly join with credit unions around the world in celebrating Credit Union Month. Happy International Credit Union Day 2019!

May God bless the Credit Union Movement.
May God bless our beloved twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

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