June 22, 2004, Washington, D.C. – Highlighting the partnerships between U.S. state credit union leagues and Mexican credit unions is the goal of this week's Washington advocacy visit hosted by the World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU).
Beginning this morning, officials from Mexico's Caja Popular Mexicana, partnered with the California Credit Union League (CCUL) and Texas Credit Union League (TCUL), and Caja Libertad, partnered with the Arizona Credit Union League (ACUL), will attend some 15 meetings with lawmakers, policymakers and local credit union representatives to draw attention to the private sector-led credit union development in Mexico. TCUL, CCUL and ACUL have partnered with Caja Popular Mexicana and Caja Libertad to improve marketing to unbanked Mexicans on both sides of the border, facilitate remittance distribution and upgrade information technology in Mexican credit unions.
The Mexicans will join their U.S. "partners" to meet personally with Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Rep. Joe Baca (R-CA), Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). Staff members from the offices of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX) and Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) will also meet with the group. The Mexican officials will meet with staff members of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), as well.
"This week is a rare opportunity to reinforce for international credit union development stakeholders the value and effectiveness of our collaborative efforts," says WOCCU vice president and COO Brian Branch.
WOCCU's International Partnership Program allows for the exchange of knowledge, information and experiences between developed and developing credit union movements. These programs bring together people from credit union movements around the world and encourage credit union leaders to get involved in formal partnerships, internships and volunteer assignments. Administered by WOCCU, the International Partnership Program is one of the many ways the credit union movement shows the cooperative spirit of "people helping people."
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 51,000 credit unions in 100 countries serve 196 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.