LAHORE (APP): The economic integration of OIC countries through public-private partnership is need of the hour to improve intra-regional trade and face the upcoming challenges under globalization. According to a message received here Friday from Cairo, it was stated by VP SAARC CCI, Pakistan chapter, Iftikhar Ali Malik at a reception held by OIC secretariat in honour of the visiting high-level delegation of Pakistan trade leaders. He said Islamic countries are blessed with huge reserves of natural resources and produce 45 % of the total raw material and possess 65 % of the natural resources of the world. He said at present the Muslim Ummah, despite having enormous potential, natural and human resources is confronted with grave challenges which he added required modern therapy to address the issues which includes lack of unity, political instability, terrorism, bleak economy, absence of intellectual and far-sightedness. He said that now world has entered into an era of free trade and the regional blocks have significantly improved intra-regional trade through activation of their podium. He said EU, NAFTA, ASEAN and COMESA have witnessed an improvement by double digit in intra trade during the last 5 years whereas present OIC intra regional (11%) badly needs to be enhanced. Iftikhar Ali Malik said that 1315 million, the total population of 57 OIC countries is 21 % of the world with less than 50 % literacy but their export, import and foreign direct investment ranges from 8 to 9 % and 17 Muslim countries are amongst the poorest in the world. He said that socio-economic indicators in most of the OIC member state does not reflect their real potential. He said only five OIC countries Kuwait, Qatar, Behrain, Brunei and UAE have managed their positions amongst top 50 countries in human development. Other members of Pak delegation President Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sultan Ahmad Chawala, President SAARC, Tariq Sayeed, OIC honorary member Zubair Tufail, Shahbaz Malik and Shahrukh Malik were also present. About the deplorable and deteriorating educational standard, he said that none of the 500 universities in OIC state fall in the list of top 400 universities of the world while Japan alone has more than 1,000 universities. Iftikhar Ali Malik said that there is an urgent need to fully exploit the untapped resources properly, evolve collective monetary policy, new joint ventures, exchange of traders and investors delegations, free flow of investment and promotion of intra trade among the OIC members. He said now in the prevailing worldwide scenario, only the survival of the entire Muslim Ummah rest with complete unity and harmony among all OIC states on all international and regional issues. He forecast that in future, entire world will face acute shortage of foodgrain which he added must be given top priority in OIC states because other advanced countries are successfully developing alterative resources for oil and energy. The delegation will participate in OIC poll, Board of Directors and general assembly meetings.