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EghtesadOnline: A total of 2,670 new cooperatives were registered during the first nine months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Dec. 22), which shows a 1.15% increase compared with the corresponding period of last year.

Close to 693.6 billion rials ($6.54 million) worth of investments were made in these cooperatives during the period.

These newly-founded cooperatives have around 50,425 members and have created jobs for 44,753 people to register a 42.5% decline and a 3% rise respectively year-on-year, Fars News Agency reported citing latest data released by the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare.

Khorasan Razavi with 251 units topped the list of provinces in which the largest number of cooperatives was registered over the one-month period, as Qom was placed at the bottom of the list with 22 registered cooperatives, according to Financial Tribune.

The biggest share of these new entities was engaged in the fields of services (848), agriculture (833) and industries (432).

Out of the total number of such units established over the period, 428 were women’s cooperatives and 12 were knowledge-based. 

A cooperative is a jointly-owned enterprise engaging in the production or distribution of goods or the supply of services, operated by its members for their mutual benefit, typically organized by consumers or farmers. 

Cooperative businesses are typically more economically resilient than many other forms of enterprise, with twice the number of cooperatives surviving their first five years compared with other business ownership models. 

Cooperatives frequently pursue social goals they aim to accomplish by investing a proportion of trading profits back into their communities.

The parliament has tasked the government with increasing the share of cooperatives in gross domestic product to 25% by the end of the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2022).

"The current share of GDP is around 7% currently," Bahman Abdollahi, the head of Iran Chamber of Cooperatives, said. 

Development plans are devised by the government and ratified by parliament every five years since 1991. These are meant to provide the broad directions for a wide range of economic reforms and social priorities.

According to Hamid Kalantari, deputy minister of cooperatives, labor and social welfare, 74 trillion rials ($685 million) were paid in loans to cooperatives last year (March 2017-18) to support their activities.


Iran Cooperatives