Recent internal reorganisation at the state-owned Chinatex Corporation will split future activities between three independently operated divisions: raw materials, yarns and piece goods, and fabrics and clothing.

The biggest change of emphasis will be within the fabric and garment production divisions. In future these will operate as manufacturers/suppliers to the international market rather than simply as units within China's most important fashion and fabric trading organisation.

Markets particularly pinpointed as areas with which Chinatex aims to do more business in future include the USA, Japan and the EU.

Recently issued figures put its garment production levels at 30 million pieces a year, most of which will be sold overseas. The company is also China's biggest trader cotton and its biggest importer of wool. It owns 40 factories, has 30 subsidiaries and enjoys an annual turnover of US$1 billion.

By Sonia Roberts