Laos is the third foreign country to establish MG Community Credit Cooperatives after Myanmar and Uganda. Starting with Laos’ first MG Community Credit Cooperatives in December 2020, three MG Community Credit Cooperatives have been established and operated.
As of the end of 2021, Laos is one of the poorest countries (48 countries in the world) designated by the United Nations with a per capita GDP of $2,514 ($34,984 for Korea).
The current economic situation of Laos is in a serious condition due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and lack of foreign currency, which is accompanied by adverse factors such as a surge in the exchange rate, inflation, and shortage of oil.
In particular, in the case of rural areas, it is difficult for residents to access financial institutions to obtain loans, so the dependence rate on loan sharks is high, and farming is difficult due to the lack of oil.
In the midst of such a crisis, the Laos MG Community Credit Cooperatives executives and staff are taking the lead and promoting the savings movement through continuous education and persuasion to the residents.
They saw hope in the cases where even a small amount of money was saved, and the villagers used the funds collected through the MG Community Credit Cooperatives for living or business funds, leading to community development.
In particular, the interview with the president of MG Community Credit Cooperatives, Lao Hashibseong, Laos' first safe, located in Ponhong County, Vientiane Province, is quite impressive.
President Saeng-Kam Pomsa, who was usually concerned about the harmful effects of loans and the vicious cycle of poverty, recognized the need for the village savings movement through the MG Community Credit Cooperatives training course, and led the women’s Federation members to educate the residents and encourage saving activities. After much effort, the first MG Community Credit Cooperatives was established in Laos.
In the early 1960s in Korea, MG Community Credit Cooperatives also organized a village women's association through education on frugality and savings, and developed as a mainstay of the savings movement, such as the rice-saving campaign.
Half a century later, the same situation is being repeated in Laos.
Considering from the unpaid dedication and enthusiasm of the Credit Cooperatives' executives and staff, to the excellent location near the large market, we can look forward to the rapid growth of Lockhasipseong MG Community Credit Cooperatives in 5 years and 10 years.
Another safe located in Phone Hong-gun, Namrin MG Community Credit Cooperatives, joined forces to form the first saving habit of Phone Hong Middle and High School students in the village in connection with the waste separation project of the Korea Environment Corporation.
Recognizing the good intentions of students recycling waste and saving even a small amount of profits from sales, the MG Community Credit Cooperatives decided to support students without any additional subscription fee or account opening costs.
It is a MG Community Credit Cooperatives model that shines more in a crisis.
The hope that villagers' voluntary and active participation can lead to poverty alleviation and income increase is growing through MG Community Credit Cooperatives in Laos.
In line with this, the MG Community Credit Cooperatives will continue to provide technical support such as various education and consulting services so that the sustainable financial inclusion model system can be established in Laos and expanded nationwide.
Chairman Park Cha-hoon of the MG Community Credit Cooperatives, emphasized, “MG is a successful cooperative model that has led the local community development project in Korea. It will become a hope for developing countries through more active international cooperation activities.”