Полтавський регіональний центр досліджень і сприяння розвитку кооперації

Poltava Regional Cooperatives-Research and Promotion Center

It’s quite remarkable, that the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives. It occurs under the slogan “Cooperative enterprises build a better world”. From the point of international community such decision is a recognition of the important role of cooperative organizations in national economics’ development, their willingness to respond to the economic needs of ordinary citizens, to quickly react on social changes and contribute to the jobs’ creation.

Starting from 1840’s, cooperative movement acquired a global significance. During the long time, cooperatives prove their advantages in those spheres of economy, in which the private business does not respond to the needs of urban and rural population. The cooperatives of more than 100 countries of the world unite today around 1 bln. members. According to experts, they have created more than 100 mln. jobs.

Many facts have become the evidence of their results and capabilities. According to the World Credit Unions’ Council, 49 000 credit unions serve 177 mln. members in 96 countries. Similar data of European Cooperative Banks Association shows that 4200 member banks of mentioned organization provide their services to 149 mln. individuals.

Significant that agricultural cooperatives produce 80-99% of milk in Norway, New Zealand and the USA, 71% of fishery products in the Korean Republic and 40% of agricultural output in Brazil.

Consumer cooperatives of Western European countries are mostly involved in food trading. Their total annual turnover amounts to 73 bln. euro 36 000 of large and small retailing facilities with 400 000 employees belongs to this kind of cooperatives. The property of just one French cooperative “Coop Atlantique” includes 7 hypermarkets, 39 supermarkets, and around 200 stores.

The other types of cooperatives are also confidently developing, in particular, energy, housing, IT- (information technological) cooperatives. Thus, energy cooperatives are increasingly establishing in rural areas. Particularly, in Bangladesh, such cooperatives serve 28 mln. people. 900 rural energy cooperatives of United States serve 37 mln. people, and own almost a half of electric distribution network in the country.

With competitive achievements, cooperatives still have a great potential for a constant development in the future. The International Year of Cooperatives will contribute to its realization. It opens wide opportunities to draw the attention of national governments, business community, and the most important, public at large to the advantages of cooperative maintaining model, to increase the awareness level of urban, and foremost, rural population on cooperatives as a unique form of economic self-help.

Director of Poltava Regional
Cooperatives-Research and Promotion Center
A.O. Panteleymonenko