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MnCUN praises international partnership with Paraguay
ASUNCION, Paraguay (6/9/10)--The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) issued a formal salutation to the credit unions of Paraguay at the Central de Cooperativas del Area Nacional (CENCOPAN) International Seminar on June 2-3. The salutation expressed support of Paraguayan credit unions and CENCOPAN, and admiration for the cooperatives’ successes in providing financial services. The statement was presented to conference attendees at this eighth annual event. “We greatly value the ongoing relationship between MnCUN and CENCOPAN, and look forward to continuing our regular exchanges to further benefit credit unions in both Paraguay and the state of Minnesota,” said MnCUN President/CEO Mark D. Cummins. Now entering its seventh year, Cummins characterized the partnership to be “as important as ever.” MnCUN and CENCOPAN have been linked since 2004 through the World Council of Credit Unions’ International Partnerships Program. The Partnership Program is designed to allow an exchange of knowledge, information and experiences between developed and developing credit union movements. Formed in 1994, CENCOPAN is located in Asuncion, Paraguay, and provides its member credit unions with services similar to those offered by trade associations and corporate credit unions in the U.S. Dr. Modesto Segovia Boltes, CENCOPAN president, expressed agreement with Cummins’ statement during a dialogue in 2009. He said that as a landlocked country, international partnerships are new in Paraguay but that CENCOPAN has been very successful in forging these relationships. “Credit unions have the highest profile and highest awareness within the cooperative sector [of Paraguay],” Boltes said. “Having an international partner, especially in the U.S., has certainly helped…and that projects a forward-looking image. Frankly, our organization is the envy of other co-ops.” Minnesota credit union professionals representing MnCUN have traveled to Paraguay each year to meet with their credit union counterparts, resulting in meetings both educational and enjoyable. Through these exchanges, participants have learned about the international credit union movement and used the experience of U.S. credit unions to make improvements in the legislative and regulatory environments of Paraguayan credit unions. Technology has been another main focus of exchanges, including internships coordinated in both countries. “As Minnesota and the entire U.S. face numerous challenges today, credit unions remain strong and are frequently viewed as a solution to the financial issues confronting Americans today--not the source of the problems that have arisen,” Cummins said. “We hope that all credit unions--both nationally and internationally--will continue to be regarded as safe, sound and secure financial institutions.”
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