Participants of KFCC educational sessions pump their fists at the Lao-Korea Rural Development Training Center in Phonhong, the capital of Vientiane Province, on Feb. 3. Photo courtesy of KFCC

Korean financial co-op entity shares grassroots financial models

The Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives (KFCC) announced on Feb. 10 that it had provided financial training to citizens in Laos.

Co-headed with the Korea Institute for Development Strategy, the educational sessions took place at the Lao-Korea Rural Development Training Center (LKRDTC) in Vientiane Province between Jan. 30 and Feb. 3.

A total of 34 residents from 14 villages joined the five-day event. Over the next three years, the KFCC is scheduled to hold similar sessions every quarter.

Included in the villages were Luk52, Namlin, and Dongkhao, which are situated in Phonhong, the capital of Vientiane Province, according to the KFCC.

The KFCC first tapped into Laos in 2019 and built three branches in the above-mentioned three places.

“This event is very meaningful because Laos’s agriculture minister cooperated with South Korean institutes like the KFCC,” an LKRDTC official said.

“These attempts aimed at enhancing capabilities of farmers will work as a springboard to achieve sustainable development of our rural areas.”

On the sideline of the training sessions, the KFCC held a meeting with Phet Phomphiphak, Laotian Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, to discuss ways of its co-op financial model in the Southeast Asian country.

“We are putting forth efforts to increase financial inclusiveness in areas where people could not enjoy financial services. Such initiative will also contribute to increasing farmers’ revenues,” a KFCC official said.

Representing up to 1,300 financial cooperatives in South Korea, the KFCC is the leading apex organization for the country’s cooperative banking sector.

The outfit has proactively made inroads into emerging economies over the past several years in line with its ESG management principles of seeking globalization.

Short for Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance, ESG is the three central factors in measuring the sustainability of a corporation or business.