KARACHI-The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) has emphasised to increase the national flag carrying flights of PIA to South Africa to enhance trade activities between two countries. TDAP Chief Executive Syed Mohibullah Shah said this while addressing a dinner ceremony organised by the TDAP in honour of visiting trade delegation of South Africa on Sunday. He said that TDAP would approach the government and the PIA administration to increase the flights to South Africa to boost the trade activities. The trade delegation from South Africa comprising 18 leading businessmen is visiting Pakistan on official invitation of TDAP for a week from July 19 to 25. The delegation consisting of businessmen of Textiles, Pharmaceutical, Building Material and Sports Goods and other sectors, while the delegation will spend two days in Karachi having one-to-one meetings with local manufacturers of their specific trade industry. The foreign delegation will also visit the factories in Faisalabad, Sialkot and Lahore. The TDAP chief, in his welcome address, said that delegation have come all the way to Pakistan and hoped that it will be a wonderful programme which has been designed to explore the potential for trade between the two countries. There will be many things that will emerge from this initiative we have taken, he said and added this visit will trigger the growth, economy and employment opportunity and at the same time, allowing opportunities to the private sector, while the volume of trade between two countries will grow for both the sides. Mr. Shah further said that Pakistan and South Africa has historical and cultural relations but we have not built trade relations, but realising the delay, the Pakistan has picked South Africa from emerging markets to build trade relations. This visit aims to understand the export oriented products and prices and hoped it will prove productive for both countries. He pointed out that present volume of trade is only $700 million dollars between Pakistan and South Africa, which is very low and need to increase. He further said that South Africa is the second largest exporter of coal, while despite having fourth largest coal reserves in the world, Pakistan spends an amount of $350 million on the import of coal from South Africa annually. Pakistan can get help from the expertise of South Africa to convert coal into gas to produce electricity, TDAP chief maintained. He termed Pakistan is the gateway to Central Asia and offered Pakistan link to access seven countries of Central Asia. On this occasion, Ibrahim Patel who led the South African trade delegation said that like Pakistan is gateway to Central Asia, South Africa also the gateway to African countries. He extended invitation to Pakistani businessmen to visit South Africa for exploring trade opportunities. FPCCI President Sultan Chawla, South African Honorary Counsel General in Karachi Ghulam Ali Muhammad and leading rice exporter Hamid Ahmed Gharib and others also spoke.