Since November 2007, the Centre has been preparing short outlook reports on various socio-economic development topics related to the OIC Member States. Using the Centre’s OIC Statistics (OICStat) Database, these reports present statistical information and analytical investigations on the topics under consideration, enriched with figures and tables. The topics of these reports include, among others, demography and structure of population, size and structure of the economy, saving and investment, structure and direction of trade, labour productivity, health, tourism, gender, food security, cancer and street children.

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An Assessment of Trade Costs in OIC Countries

Since the initiation of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs in 1947, a dramatic fall in tariffs, quotas and other non-tariff barriers has been observed in the world trading system. Particularly in manufacturing goods, significant reductions were observed in tariff rates. Substantial improvements in transport and logistics over the years have also contributed to the fall in trade costs around the world. However, international trade remained more costly than domestic trade. This is not only due to costs of transporting goods to far distances, but also at-the-border and behind-the-border costs that can be reduced by appropriate policies. This fact accordingly shifted the attention from reducing policy barriers to promoting trade facilitation.

Civil Society in OIC Member Countries: Challenges and Opportunities

Civil Society (CS) refers to the voluntary formations of individuals that work for a common purpose. It is an area outside of the public and private sector. Civil society institutionalizes itself by forming civil society organizations such as charities, environmental organizations, human rights groups to trade unions, chambers and on a larger scale, international organizations. In a tolerant country each citizen has the right to form his or her choice of organization freely as a member of the civil society. Citizens also have the right to engage into any existing civil society organizations. They are also free to decide on to what extent they are going to be active in civil society organizations.

Labour Market Structure, Unemployment and the Role of VET in OIC Countries

It is now beyond contention that the recent global economic and financial crisis was severe by any metric. It left long-lasting harms on real economies in terms of output contractions, large deficits and high unemployment rates. Although the negative impacts of the crisis on the real economy varied widely among countries and regions, the sharp increase in unemployment rates around the world was the common and most severe one. A heavy price has been already paid in terms of lost jobs, reduced hours and associated income losses. Low-skilled workers, young people and workers on temporary contracts with limited employment protection have suffered quite a lot. In response to these challenges, interventions at labour market mostly concentrated on training, reductions in working hours and job search assistance (ILO, 2010). However, during the following six years since the onset of the crisis, global unemployment could not be contained and remain well above the pre-crisis level.

Patterns of Financial Access in OIC Member Countries

A well-functioning financial system can serve an important goal by offering savings, borrowing, payment, and risk management products to people with a broad spectrum of needs. Inclusive financial systems can allow broad access to financial products and services, and are especially likely to benefit poor people and other disadvantaged groups. Without inclusive financial systems, poor people must rely on their own limited savings to invest in their education or become entrepreneurs, and small enterprises on their limited earnings to pursue promising growth opportunities. This, on the other hand, can contribute to persistent income inequality and lead to a sluggish economic growth.

FDI Potential and FDI Performance of the OIC Countries

With the decline of the Soviet Union and open market policies promoted by the World Bank and the IMF, many countries including the OIC member have become more integrated to the global economy via FDI, international trade, and capital flows channels. The analysis of the OIC countries in terms of FDI potential and performance is crucial for drawing effective and right-policy measures on FDI.

The Plight of Human Capital Flight in OIC Countries

OIC countries face multiple challenges in achieving their development goals and reducing the gap with developed countries; one of the main challenges is the plight of human capital flight or what is known as brain drain. Brain drain serves to divest OIC countries from one of their most important resources which is skilled human capital.