Mexico's textile and apparel industry has urged the country's future government to introduce harder measures to fight contraband, foster competitiveness and strengthen trade partnerships.

Top apparel and textile associations such as Camara Nacional de la Industria del Vestido (CNIV) and Camara Nacional de la Industria Textil (Canaintex) have sent their requests to five political parties competing for Mexico's presidency.

Mexico holds national elections on July 2.

"There have been some advances against contraband but we need the new government to be more energetic, to fight illegality with the full force of the state," a CNIV spokesman told just-style.

He also said the future administration must introduce policies to help bolster the industry's competitiveness, such as increasing investment in research and development (R&D) and encouraging domestic commercial alliances to help buffer the industry against soaring competition from Asia.

Contraband textiles sold for $8bn in Mexico last year, accounting for 50% of the textiles and apparel trade.

However, that rate fell from 70% in late 2004, thanks in part to work done by the current government, led by the Partido Accion Nacional (PAN) party.

By Ivan Castano.