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Textile firms told to focus on quality

PROSPECTS for China's textile and apparel exports are generally seen as bright despite the current economic downturn but the industry needs to shift from cut-throat price competition to a segmented market focusing on high quality, industry insiders said.

Confidence in a bright export future is derived from optimism seen at the China International Textile and Apparel Trade which recorded significant increases in terms of visitors, exhibitors and order-filling intentions, organizers of the annual exhibition said.

The fair, which will run from Thursday through Saturday, attracted about 670 exhibitors this year, more than double the nearly 300 last year. The number of professional buyers more than doubled to 1,500 from 658 in 2007, with 1,000 of them being international purchasers. The major United States and Korean buyers expressed intentions to order, the organizers said.

"The fact that China is the 'World Factory' will not change in a short period," said Lucas Fu, executive vice president of Shanghai World Trade City Co. "While most textile and apparel makers have been hurt by vicious price wars, manufactures which target segmented markets and sell at reasonably high prices will stand out and lead the industry to a new era."

China's textile and garment exports for the first quarter continued to fall by 9.03 percent on an annual basis to US$34.06 billion. But the drop was slower than the 14.54-percent decline in the first two months. Tax rebates for textile and garment exports have been raised to 16 percent to help the ailing industry.


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