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The Deputy Office for Cooperative Affairs and the International Department of the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare of the Islamic Republic of Iran organised an International Webinar on Structural Analysis of Regulatory and Support Models of State Institution (Government) and Cooperative Business in Selected Countries on 15th December 2020.  The webinar was to provide a platform to learn from the success stories of other countries in cooperative development, policymaking, and planning; and to exchange information on a system that can help establishing congenial relationship between the government and cooperatives and enable regulators and policymakers to support the cooperative business.


Dr. Moslem Khani, Director General for Cooperative Extension, Education and Research, delivered the opening address and facilitated the webinar. Dr. Shahrivar, Director General for International Department of the Ministry explained the role, function, and projects of the Ministry for Development and Growth of Cooperatives in Iran.


The speakers presented their views on the following two key points:

  • Title of incentives in place in their country to help establish and develop cooperative business
  • Models and methods of the Government regulation/ supervision on cooperative societies.


Ms. Savitri Singh, Programme Director, ICA-AP made a presentation on “A comparative Study of Successful Models of Regulations and Support Relationship between Government & Cooperatives”. She presented a comparative study of cooperative legislation in India, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand that comprised developing and developed economies based on Legal Framework Analysis done under ICA-EU Partnership.


The research showed that India has general and multiple cooperative laws, and the nature of law is restrictive. In Japan, cooperative law is sector-specific and some of the laws are restrictive. In New Zealand, legal framework accommodates cooperatives efficiently. In Korea, there are sector-specific cooperative laws, the legal framework is cooperative friendly and supportive.


The conducive legal environment is crucial but effective leadership and active participation of members also play a significant role in the success of the business. Cooperatives are part of the overall system of a country and society. The internal and external socio-economic-legal environment affects both members and business. Since cooperatives are social businesses impacting the lives of people with fewer resources, a supportive legal and policy environment is required to sustain them. She concluded by sharing that “one size” does not fit all; cooperative law should be need-based and mutually beneficial to the government and cooperatives in a specific country.