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Visitor finds help in WI for credit union, co-op system in China


The Wisconsin League shared insights with a visitor from China in June with the goal of forming a national association for credit unions and a cooperative training and extension center in China Agricultural University.

Ronghua Ju, an associate professor at the College of Economics and Management at the University, visited The Wisconsin Credit Union League’s Credit Union House on the Capitol Square where she shared her goals for credit union development in China.

Topics discussed included the U.S. credit union system framework and relationships, financial and economic statistics and performance, regulations, forms of government oversight, emerging issues, challenges and opportunities for growth.


"It’s really a rare privilege to work with bright, talented and motivated individuals like Professor Ju, as they work to increase the footprint of financial cooperatives across the globe," said Tom Liebe, The League's Vice President of Government Affairs. "The League is committed to working with our system partners to assist in the development of credit unions, share best practices or support other efforts to bring transparent, safe and sound financial services to people everywhere."


Ronghua, who is spending a few months at UW-Madison, has worked with the World Council of Credit Unions to pursue her goal of strengthening the credit union and co-op systems in China, as well as to connect with credit unions in the U.S.


"Thanks to the vivid presentation, I understand the credit union system more completely," said Professor Ju. "Working with partners like the World Council of Credit Unions and the Wisconsin Credit Union League should be very helpful for cooperative financial institution development in countries such as China."


The Wisconsin League is also continuing an exchange program through the World Council to help the Dominican Republic establish a regulatory framework apart from that of banks that recognizes the uniqueness of credit unions, as well as to offer tips on credit union development, expansion of credit union services, and more.


A group from the Dominican Republic is scheduled to once again visit Wisconsin in October to intern at Wisconsin credit unions for several weeks. Plans are being made for Wisconsin credit union employees to travel there in 2013 to intern in credit unions in the Dominican Republic.


There are 53,000 credit unions in 100 countries serving 188 million people worldwide. Credit unions comprise the second-largest segment of the overall movement of cooperatives that serve roughly one billion people worldwide.


"All co-ops everywhere are striving to create sustainable enterprises, generate jobs and prosperity and provide solutions to local challenges," Liebe continued. "Partnerships within the credit union movement – like those forged through WOCCU – help credit unions grow not only operationally and through service improvements, but by helping governments appreciate the good credit unions bring to a country and to support those objectives."

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