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Kuwait boasts pioneering cooperative movement: Union chief

KUWAIT: Over long years, Kuwaiti cooperative societies have managed to maintain the stable prices of basic commodities and services nationwide, setting a pioneering example in both Gulf and Arab regions, said the chief of the Federation of Cooperative Societies.”The Kuwaiti cooperative movement is so pioneering that it was generated out of the womb of the Kuwaiti society and reflected the cooperative spirit of Kuwaiti forefathers,” Abdulaziz Assad said in an interview with KUNA, marking 60 years since the federation was founded.

The cooperative movement, in its current format, began in Kuwait as per Law 20/1962 that set out rules and regulations for establishing cooperatives, membership, management, oversight and whatnots, he recalled. The federation was created in 1971 just to be the beginning of collective work in the consumer cooperative sector, defending the interests of member cooperatives and representing them at relevant Arab and international events, the union’s chief elaborated. Assad spoke highly of the State’s backing to the cooperative movement, drawing cooperatives’ effective involvement in the national economy by means of creating a congenial legislative and regulatory work environment.

Only out of its belief in the cooperative movement and its success in making commodities and services available, the State has tasked cooperatives with the distribution of subsidized commodities among citizens since 1975, he pointed out. The federation joined the International Cooperative Alliance, which is a non-governmental co-operative federation representing co-operatives and the cooperative movement worldwide, in March 1981, Assad boasted.

Furthermore, the Kuwaiti Federation of Cooperative Societies contributed to founding the Arab Cooperative Union in August of the same year, and has promoted its relations with different world cooperative organizations through the exchange of personnel visits, Assad remarked.

In 1981, the federation consented to the collective purchasing and importing policy for specific staples in a bid to provide alternatives to highly expensive commodities at the domestic market, thus reining in looming price hikes, he noted. The federation’s chief underlined that the cooperative movement has various economic dimensions, based on developing and strengthening national industries, promoting internal and external trade and seeking to solve economic problems.

The Kuwaiti cooperative movement is a pioneering experiment at both Gulf and Arab levels, with cooperatives offering consumer and social services to their customers in general and shareholders in particular. Kuwaiti cooperative societies mark Saturday 60 years since the late Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah issued the law on consumer cooperatives on August 6, 1962.

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