Economic Development Studies » Regional Cooperation and Integration

The group of OIC countries are well endowed with potential economic resources in different fields and sectors such as agriculture, energy and mining, human resources, and they constitute a large strategic economic region. Yet, this inherent potential does not manifest itself in the form of reasonable levels of economic and human development in many individual OIC countries as well as in the OIC countries as a group.

The current 57 OIC countries are dispersed over a large geographical region, spread out on four continents, extending from Albania (Europe) in the north to Mozambique (Africa) in the south, and from Guyana (Latin America) in the west to Indonesia (Asia) in the east. The OIC member countries constitute a substantial part of the developing countries, and, being at different levels of economic development, they do not make up a homogenous economic group. The mixed nature of the group of the OIC countries reflects high levels of heterogeneity and divergence in the economic structure and performance of these countries.

Despite the differences across the countries, there are huge potentials for greater economic cooperation and integration. This would reflect better mobility of people, goods and services across the countries within the OIC. The research at SESRIC understands the challenges in promoting regional cooperation and integration and devises policies to enhance policy dialogue and partnership among the member countries. Almost all OIC member countries have land or sea connection with another OIC member country. If artificial barriers that reduce the connectivity among the member countries are eliminated or significantly reduced, OIC region would provide an important opportunity for investors and traders.