Economic cooperation and human development in the D-8 countries: The Malaysian model

M. Niaz Asadullah, Norma Mansor

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Abstract

Muslim-majority countries worldwide account for a disproportionately large proportion of the world’s illiterate and poor population and are home to millions of out of school children. Many of these countries have grown rather slowly over the past decades. The lack of economic development have further limited economic integration among the OIC member states. Malaysia belongs to the small number of Muslim-majority countries that have proved an exception to this pattern. This paper therefore develops and proposes a three-pillar framework for people-centric economic integration in the D-8, using Malaysia as an engine for talent development and talent recirculation. To motivate the framework, we first provide a comparative assessment of Malaysia’s progress in key social and economic indicators vis-à-vis D-8 member countries and critically review some of the main policies and strategies which defined Malaysia’s economic transformation. We then introduce the three-pillar framework, explaining how Malaysia can offer a model for greater economic integration among the D-8 member states through (i) trade in cultural goods and services, (ii) international student flow and (iii) skilled labor mobility. We conclude by briefly commenting on some of the policy challenges for implementing the framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-195
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Economic Cooperation and Development
Volume42
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

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