Friday, August 28, 2009
Possibilities of Economic Integration of Islamic Countries
The population of Islamic Countries of the world is 17% of the world’s population and the area at their disposal is 22% of the world’s area. The number of Islamic countries which are the member of OIC is 56. The share of Islamic countries in world trade is 9 to 10%. The share of Islamic countries in world’s GNP is not more than 5%. The half of the 56 countries are extremely backward. The mine are oil exporting countries which are relatively prosperous. The 76% of imports of Islamic countries are consisted of chemicals, machinery, means of transportation and communication etc. As a result they have to import them from developed countries. The share of manufactured goods in the world’s imports is 58% while the share of Islamic countries in the imports of manufactured goods is 76%. This shows that Islamic countries are backward industrially. No doubt 2/3 of world’s energy resources is owned by Islamic countries of the
Now the question arises if the Islamic countries unify their economics or establish common market will they be able to utilize their resources in a best way-whether the effects of such customs union will be trade creating or trade diverting? Let us have look at the following points and try to search for the answers of these queries.
1. It is said that the countries formulating customs union should have political, cultural and ideological uniformity. Though the Islamic countries do not have political identity, yet they have common religious relationship. Therefore on the basis of religious identity the ideological equation can be established between them. Therefore the possibilities of trade and economic cooperation between Islamic countries are far more than what are existing in European Union (EU). The EU countries will hardly agree upon uniformity of taxation structure and common monetary policy. Particularly because of the reason that each country will have to lose its sovereignty. While the Islamic countries have the same taxation system of Zakat, Khairat Riba etc and they have belief that Almighty Allah is sovereign and the man is his deputy.
2. The countries forming customs union must be linked with each other on the territorial basis, as the transport costs are like “natural tarrif”. The major part of Islamic world lies in
3. There are many Islamic countries which lack industrial as well as agricultural base. With oil revenues they are constructing their infra-structures consequently they have greater demand for labour. This is the reason that manpower from
4. The oil exporting countries have a shortage of natural resources, cultivable lands and water resources. In this respect the experiences of
In the above discussion we proved that there exist the chances of forming a customs union between Islamic countries. But if the history of EU is seen by us, we find that they started from coal and steel production. As far as Islamic countries are concerned they have neither steel nor coal. They neither produce chemicals, nor the automobiles. Our social and political structures are different. The countries which are poor they are poor like
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