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COMCEC Transport and Communications

Outlook 2019




There is a strong emphasis on transportation sector within the OIC (Organization of Islamic

Cooperation) framework. First of all, one of three principles of the COMCEC Strategy, which is

enhancing mobility, is directly related to transport. Secondly, transportation is explicitly

affirmed as one of the three priority sectors by the COMCEC along with agriculture and tourism.

Thirdly, it is one of the six cooperation areas specified by the COMCEC Strategy besides trade,

tourism, agriculture, poverty alleviation, and finance.

Such an emphasis on the transport sector is not surprising, since it is crucial for economic and

social development of the nations. From the point of view of households, people spend

considerable time and money for traveling to fulfil a wide variety of purposes such as business,

education, shopping, vacation, and socializing. According to Eurostat statistics, transportation

activities account for 4.6% of the EU’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 4.5% of its total

employment (European Commission 2013). In addition, transport expenditures correspond to

13.2% of a household's budget on average within the EU as of 2012 (Eurostat 2012).

Problems and challenges associated with the transport industry are just as big as the transport

industry itself. Regarding transportation infrastructure, developed countries try tomaintain and

improve their transportation network while developing and the least developed countries aim

at developing a transport infrastructure to meet their basic needs. With respect to

transportation finance and privatization, almost all countries suffer from insufficient public

budgets and inefficient provision of transport services through public ownership and

management. From environmental point of view, transportation is one of the biggest sources of

greenhouse gas emissions and the rate of increase in transport emissions is quite high. In

addition to these problems, other outstanding challenges like increasing traffic congestion,

problems associated with the transportation safety and security, the lack of transit services are

also noteworthy. Revealing these current challenges facing transportation sector, this brief

Outlook, through a focused approach, attempts to provide an overview on how OIC countries

are performing in terms of transport and telecommunication sector.

The analyses within this Outlook include comparisons between the OIC countries and other

regions such as the European Union (EU), Latin America and the Caribbean, East Asia and Pacific,

and th

e Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

(OECD). For more detailed

analysis, the OIC countries were divided into geographical regions such as OIC-MENA (Middle

East and North Africa), OIC-Asia, and OIC-Sub-Saharan Africa when deemed necessary. Further

information on this geographical classification is available at Table A.1 in the Appendix.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) is another critical area for economic and

social development of countries. Radical developments in ICT during the second half of the 20


century have significantly changed the way information is gathered, stored, processed and

transferred and thus accelerated the process of transformation into information society.