Up to 2,500 textile and garment industry workers lost their jobs in the first six months of this year with that trend set to continue into the second, an official claimed on Monday.

Manufacturers Association textile and fashion division chairman, Ramzi Gabbay, said although he expects the rate of the redundancies to slow, duties should be slapped on textile imports from Asia.

Israeli textile exports slumped 12 per cent in the first half to $465.7 million from the year-ago period while textile imports climbed 16 per cent to $335.5m.