Senior Chinese officials are to visit Pakistan with a view to setting up a "silk park" for the printing of plain silk cloth and its conversion into garments, Pakistan's Federal Commerce Minister, Abdul Razzak Dawood, revealed at the weekend.

Possible sites for the new development include the cities of Karachi or Faisalabad, with the Chinese delegation due to tour the country in the next few months, Dawood told a press conference on Saturday following his recent trip to China.

"The Chinese, who will export the plain silk cloth as raw material to the industrial units being set up in the proposed park, have asked us for identification of the area for this purpose."

He added that the Chinese had also agreed to greater co-operation between the countries' textile industries and did not rule out the possibility of joint ventures between the two nations.