LAHORE - While underscoring the need of promoting mutual trade and economic cooperation among the Muslim countries, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has presented the idea of establishing an International Islamic Market based on the Islamic principles of trade and commerce. He said that Islamic countries could make rapid progress through benefiting from each others’ experiences, skills and technology and especially stressed on establishing close economic ties between Pakistan, Iran and Turkey which, he added, as prominent countries of the Muslim world can serve interest of the whole Ummah. The chief minister was talking to a high-level Iranian delegation led by the Iranian Governor of Fars province, Engineer Hossein Sadegh Abideen which is on a visit to Punjab here Tuesday. Iranian Consul General Hossein Bani Asadi, Senior Advisor Zulfiqar Khosa, Special Assistant Zaeem Qadri, MPs, provincial secretaries and senior officers were also present. Shahbaz announced on this occasion that Khosa will act as focal person for the promotion of economic relations between Punjab province and Iran through facilitating Iranian investors. He said that Iran and Pakistan enjoy centuries-old exemplary brotherly relations which are expanding with the passage of time. He said that Iran is a trusted friend of Pakistan and has supported it in every hour of need. He said that developed countries are taking full advantage of the growing economic opportunities and prospects in the 21st century. He said Pakistan and Iran should further expand their economic relations to benefit from the available opportunities as it will be in the interest of both the countries. He said that barter trade will benefit both the countries and will also increase their volume of trade. He said that a most modern slaughter house has been set up in Lahore with the assistance of Iran which is a shining example of cooperation between Iran and Punjab. He said that Pakistan is facing energy shortage and Iranian cooperation will be welcomed in generation of cheap electricity through solar energy. The chief minister said that Iran has a strong industrial base and its automobile industry especially public transport system is enviable. He said that provincial government has imported air-conditioned buses from China for modernizing its public transport system under a comprehensive policy while it has planned to import 1200 more buses for upgrading its public transport system in the major cities for providing better transport facilities to the masses. Governor of Fars, Engineer Hossein Sadegh Abideen said that there are strong fraternal relations between Iran and people of Punjab province and every aspect of these ties is important. He said that Iran also has the honour of being the first country to recognise Pakistan. Paying tributes to the universal poetry of the Poet of the East, he said that Allama Iqbal’s poetry is a beacon of the light for the entire Ummah. Referring to the fast changing global and international scenario, he said that bilateral relations between the two countries should be promoted with wisdom and sagacity. '