Transportation is an indispensable element in any economic activity. Without physical access to resources and markets, economic growth and development cannot be possible. An efficient multimodal transportation system is, therefore, a fundamental element in sustainable economic development. It facilitates the transfer and movements of people, goods, services and resources and improves access to local and international markets. The development of modern and efficient multimodal transportation infrastructures and services, together with adequate and coherent relevant laws and regulations, are also crucial factors for enhancing and strengthening regional economic cooperation and integration.
The OIC countries as a group account for one sixth of the world land area and enjoy a vast strategic trading region. In addition, they are well-endowed with potential economic resources in different fields and sectors, such as agriculture, energy and mining, tourism, etc. In order for the OIC countries to maximize the efficient utilisation of these inherent potentials, with a view to enhancing trade and economic development and thus competitiveness and market integration, it is necessary, inter alia, to establish a multimodal transportation system which is efficiently functioning not only at the individual country level but also at the OIC regional level. Improving transportation networks in and among OIC countries is, therefore, a key factor that has direct impacts on enhancing and strengthening trade and economic integration in OIC countries at both the regional and world trading system levels.
Transportation networks facilitate mass carriage of goods, which is of special importance to the OIC countries since the majority of them are producers of primary commodities, mainly fuel and agricultural ones. Integrated transportation networks at both OIC regional and sub-regional levels would be also in harmony with the Islamic free trade area and the Islamic common market strategies of the OIC. The diverse geographic characteristics of the OIC countries, which considered as a natural constraint for enhancing economic and commercial cooperation among them, make it necessary to fully utilise the already established transportation networks on the one hand, and to develop them further, on the other.
Yet, as the present report shows, the low level of transport capacity in OIC countries, as a group, has undoubtedly, reflected in poor transport performance and ineffective use of the existing transport facilities, a factor which has, among others, negative impact on trade and tourism activities in these countries. It is clear that the present situation of transportation networks in the OIC countries, in terms of both capacity and performance, is still far from reaching the desired level of impact on intra-OIC trade and tourism activities.
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Transportation Networks in the OIC Member Countries: Impact on Trade and Tourism (English) (Arabic) (French)