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Textile firms get credit rating
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An industry body has given credit ratings to dozens of Chinese textile enterprises, the first time that textile companies have been given such designations.

Other industries in China already conduct such credit assessments.

The move, by the China Chamber of Commerce for the Import and Export of Textiles, is being described as an effort to support companies in the sector amid difficult global credit conditions.

As a result of the chamber's assessment, 128 textile firms received the top "AAA" rating, while another 14 got "AA" ratings, it was announced on Wednesday at the ongoing Canton Fair here.

Credit ratings were recognized in the global market and would promote industry self-discipline and ensure a fair trading environment, said vice commerce minister Gao Hucheng on Wednesday.

"It is vital to accelerate the establishment of a credit rating system consistent with international practices so as to slash transaction costs and trade risk," Gao said.

The assessments included an analysis of the financial health of a company and its social responsibility.

The textile industry, one of China's largest industries with more than 50,000 companies engaged in foreign trade, faces challenges posed by the stronger yuan, rising labor and material costs and a shrinking export market.

Companies with good ratings will get recommendations from the chambers of commerce or trade associations and enjoy preferential policies from government regulators and financial institutions, Gao said.

(Xinhua News Agency April 18, 2008)

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