Transport has an indispensable role in economic activity. Without physical access to resources and markets, economic growth and development would not be possible. An effective transport system is, therefore, a fundamental element in enabling sustainable economic development. Transport facilitates the movement of people, goods, services and resources and improves access to local and international markets. Transport is also essential for providing access to basic public services, such as health and education. Therefore, removal of physical and non-physical barriers to effective transportation directly impacts economic and social development of countries. Apart from their role in economic development, modern and effective transport infrastructure and services, along with laws and regulations governing the smooth flow of goods and services within and across countries, are crucial factors of strengthening regional economic cooperation and integration.
Given the importance of an efficient transportation system for ensuring sustainable development in the OIC Member States, substantial efforts have been made under the COMCEC. With a view to enhance cooperation among the Member States in the area of transport, the COMCEC Economic Summit, held on 9 November 2009 requested the COMCEC to revitalize cooperation in this important field. In this regard, the Ministerial Exchange of Views Session of the 27th Session of the COMCEC was held with the theme of the “Impact of Transport Networks on Trade and Tourism”. The Session has welcomed the “Transport Cooperation Framework within the OIC ” (İzmir Document 2011) . The main objective of the İzmir Document is to establish a safe, secure and high quality transport network among the member countries.
The COMCEC Strategy, adopted in 2012, has also identified Transport and Communications as one of the six cooperation areas of the COMCEC. The strategic objective of cooperation in transport and communications is defined as “Improving the functioning, effectiveness and sustainability of transport and communications in the Member States“. Regulatory Framework, Institutional and Human Capacity, Transport Infrastructure Policies and Information and Communication Technologies have been identified as the output areas in the transport and communications section of the Strategy.
Transport and Communications Working Group focuses in each meeting on a specific theme selected among the expected outcomes of the relevant section of the Strategy, and through the questionnaires circulated to the Working Group members. The COMCEC Coordination Office (CCO) conducts an analytical study for each meeting, and shares it with the participants prior to each working group meeting. CCO also presents sectorial outlook report on transport to the relevant meeting in order to show the overall state of the sector in the world, as well as in the OIC Member States. Experts attending the Working Group Meetings find the opportunity to share their country experiences, including success stories and major obstacles. After each meeting, the proceedings which provide a summary of the presentations made during the meeting and the policy debates are prepared by the CCO.
Click for more information on the meetings of the COMCEC Transport and Communications Working Group