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Textile export move likely
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China is likely to work out a method to monitor the country's textile exports to the European Union when the current agreement on textile trade expires at the end of this year.


The Ministry of Commerce yesterday organized a meeting with major textile and garment exporters to discuss ways to avoid abrupt export increases to the EU next year, according to sources.


When quotas on textile trade were removed worldwide in 2005, China saw such a robust growth in textile and garment exports to some major markets, including the United States and the European Union that many foreign competitors feared "Made in China" textile products would wipe out their local industries.


Their fears were allayed when China reached agreements with the two economies to cap the growth rate of textile trade in 2005.


Many textile exporters, in particular those focused on the European market, are waiting for a possible policy step by the government as China's largest trading event, the Canton Fair, is due to open next Monday, said an official with a Guangdong-based textile company who declined to be named.


Many US and European buyers place orders for the next year at this fair. A new regulation will affect these new orders.


China's textile exports to the EU are not expected to see sharp increases next year, experts said.


The country is expected to see a steady growth in textile exports to the European Union, Wang Shenyang, chairman of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile, said at his meeting with representatives of some European textile industry associations.


China's textile exports to the EU increased just 5.5 percent in the first five months this year over the same period last year.


The fast growth in textile trade in 2005 had triggered serious conflicts between the two economies.


(China Daily October 10, 2007)


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