Given the diverse ebbs and flows of the world economy, the OIC Member States are struggling to achieve more significant and tangible improvements in various fields related to research and development, economic growth, investment and integration. Although these improvements may seem to have a plausible impact on their economies, sluggish growth rates still become inevitable over the succeeding years, with significant reflections on many fronts. In this respect, this issue of the Journal of Economic Cooperation and Development – March 2017 analyses the various challenges facing some member countries and suggests some possible healing solutions by setting forth the ways and means to deal with these challenges accordingly.
The first article focuses on three important issues of economic freedom, domestic and international research and development (R&D) and highlights how foreign direct investment (FDI) and multinational corporations (MNCs) play a major role in the internationalization of R&D activities of 38 developing countries over the period 2000 to 2010. The article also adds that a good infrastructure, attractive domestic market, highly trained workforces and reasonable intellectual property protection measures will attract significant FDI in R&D.
The second article aims to determine the problems, solutions, and strategies for productive Waqf in Indonesia in accordance with perspective Regulator, Nazhir (those who manage Waqf) and Wakif (those who give their properties for Waqf), suggesting that expansions and innovations in the Waqf management and its strategies is the solution to develop productive Waqf and to transform Nazhir from individual to institutions.
The third article provides an input for policy makers on issues of economic integration, and assesses the “revealed comparative advantage” (RCA) of the two regions: sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and Middle East & North Africa (MENA), on merchandise goods export. It also highlights that pattern of commodity export reflects the relative price and non-price factors that determine the structure of export of a country or region. That is to say, while sub-Saharan Africa has revealed comparative advantage in commodity export, Middle East & North Africa have comparative disadvantage during the whole period considered in this study (1995 to 2012).
The fourth article revisits the argument, using time series and panel data, on the contentious causality relationship between net FDI inflows and GDP among the pioneering Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN-5) members which have undergone liberalization and free trade. It also reviews past work on FDI inflows into the ASEAN economies, presents the methodology and data used in the paper, analyses the results and sets the evidence from Thailand showing that GDP growth drives FDI outflows more than attracting FDI inflows.
The fifth article sheds light on the potential of cooperation in science, technology and innovation (STI) between the European Union and Turkey basing the argument on the remarkable economic performance, the Turkish economy has shown in various scientific areas like ICT, energy, defence, water and food over the last decade and examines in broader terms the nature of this EU-Turkey relations. Turkey set research and development as a priority area for the next decade to increase its competitiveness and avoid the ‘middle-income trap’, prioritising the role of SMEs in the Turkish national science, economic and innovation policy.
The sixth and last article aims to serve as one of the pioneering empirical references for investors to evaluate Islamic structured investments, stating that Takaful (Islamic insurance) operators have been taking initiatives to attract retail and institutional contributors by offering structured investment-linked plans that comply with the Shariah requirements in Malaysia and provides a brief discussion on the nature and basics mechanisms of structured products including the risks associated with these products.
Amb. Musa KULAKLIKAYA
Articles of the Journal of Economic Cooperation and Development, Vol.38 No.1 (2017)