Economy, Domestic Economy

Opportunities Squandered by Cooperatives

Opportunities Squandered by CooperativesOpportunities Squandered by Cooperatives

Holding exhibitions, including seasonal events, where goods are sold at lower prices than the market, is among the most effective tools of business in today’s world. Such events would meet everyday needs of people with reasonable prices, and can balance the market by offering products that are in demand.

Unfortunately, such exhibitions in Iran – supervised by Iran Chamber of Guilds (ICG) – do not meet the minimum standards in terms of quality, variety, and the basic facilities for a public center. In addition, they are promoted in an untimely and disorganized manner, which discourages more people from visiting the exhibitions year by year.

Were the goods of high quality, the exhibitions could be a platform to promote domestic production; however the domestic cooperative sector is not taking advantage of the numerous unions and manufactures that seek the right market, thereby the exhibitions have turned into a junk yard of substandard goods.

“Public exhibitions of the sort were never considered a serious arena for economic activity, while they have the potential to create numerous job opportunities for the vulnerable groups “ managing director of Iran Chamber of Cooperatives (ICC) Mashallah Azimi told Ta’adol Newspaper.

Noting that holding exhibitions in the run-up to the Iranian Nowruz could be a mutual point of advantage for people and the cooperative sector, he added that the low-grade goods offered in such exhibitions contradict the promise of inexpensive products with high quality and do not set the exhibitions apart from other markets.

“Quality goods at reasonable prices are what people desire, and the opportunity could be exploited to reverse the public notion that cooperative products mean low quality,” he said, adding: “One of the principles of International Co-operative Alliance is ‘cooperation between cooperatives’ which must improve in Iran. All three chambers of cooperatives, guilds, and commerce must work in tandem to realize their economic goals.”

Noting that specialized exhibitions for commodities such as carpet, handicrafts, and decorative and valuable stones in Iran have high international ranking for their high quality, the official said: “Holding provincial or regional exhibitions are on the agenda for the upcoming year (beginning March 21)”.

Ali Fazeli, chairman of ICG, also asserted that the chamber is ready to collaborate with ICC to hold seasonal exhibitions and expand bilateral economic activities “although ICC has never taken a serious step in this regard”. However, both chambers seem to be enthusiastic to join forces in holding exhibitions with fortitude and enhanced quality from next month.

As per the reform plan of the cooperative sector approved in April 2014, the ICC bears the task of holding national and international exhibitions. The organization has currently focused all its resources on exhibitions in Kish Island and Tehran.

The seasonal exhibitions this year were held at Hakimieh in Tehran Pars neighborhood, Eram Park, and Velayat Park in Tehran.