Vietnam has joined the list of the world's top ten textile and garment exporters following sharp and stable growth in recent consecutive years, according to a report by Italy's Biella Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

According to the chamber, Vietnam stood tenth in a league table topped by China and followed by the EU, Turkey, India, Mexico, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the US.

Vietnam had stood at 16th among 153 textile and apparel manufacturing and exporting countries at the beginning of 2006.

The growth can be attributed to strong exports, twinned with slow development of several rival countries, said Nguyen Son, vice chairman of Vitas, the Vietnam Textiles and Apparel Association.

"In the first three quarters this year, Vietnam's textile and apparel exports turnover enjoyed a year-on-year growth of 31%, showing a very high and stable growth in comparison with all other countries in the world."

Although Vietnam suffered technical barriers set by the US - the biggest consumer of Vietnam-made textile and apparel products - local government and enterprises have so far prevented an anti-dumping levy from the US government.

In addition, abolishing export quotas to the EU from early 2005 has helped Vietnam promote its shipments here.

By the end of 2006, Vietnam had 2,000 textile and apparel enterprises, employing around 2m workers in Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi.

By Ngo Tuan.