Developments and challenges of cooperatives in Paraguay

Since the emergence of the first cooperatives in Paraguay, 80 years ago, the cooperative sector has continued growing and unifying itself. The Paraguayan Cooperative Confederation (CONPACOOP) comprises a total of almost 700 cooperatives, especially those from the savings, credit and farmer sectors, and to a lesser extent, worker cooperatives.

14 June 2011

By Natalia Acerenza for CICOPA

Worker cooperatives are living an incipient growth in Paraguay. CONPACOOP has set as one of its objectives, in the framework of its now strategic plan to develop and strengthen the worker cooperative sector. This objective has been largely driven by the cooperative movement of MERCOSUR, which has encouraged CONPACOOP to continue along this road.

CONPACOOP’s commitment to boost the creation and sustainability of this sector has led this organization to link with Red del Sur (Southern Network) as a regional place of expression for such cooperatives in the MERCOSUR region, receiving the support of the federations of workers’ cooperatives of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

Among the difficulties that the movement faces to achieve this goal, we can find the unfavorable regulatory framework. "Here the law only provides with normal facilities to other kinds of cooperatives, but workers cooperatives need more than tax exemptions to be created”, pointed out Antonio Ortiz Guanes, President of the National Institute of Cooperatives (INCOOP). Just to give you an illustrative comparison, in Brazil, for example, fewer people are needed to create a worker cooperative; they are granted allocations, lower interest rates and free expert technical assistance from the State.

International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives

Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037
E-mail: cicopa[at]

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