Apparel exports to Europe could soar 50 per cent by 2004 if the Philippine government succeeds in getting European Union garment and textile quota restrictions lifted, a senior official said on Monday.

Trade Secretary Manuel Roxas II said such a move would create 23,000 new jobs and generate an extra $158 million a year for his country's clothing and textile exporters which would help them survive the global economic slowdown.

He said his government's tariff commission had already given the go ahead for the Garment and Textile Export Board and various industry associations to negotiate with the EU for wider access to the regions.

However, he added that the EU quotas would only be lifted if his government promised to bind or maintain its tariffs on 150 apparel and textile items at current levels.

The Philippines garment export industry was worth $3.3 billion last year, mostly due to orders from the US, EU and Canada, but this year there has been a near five per cent drop in sales and orders due to a slump in demand in the global market.


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The 2000 World Forecasts of Apparel and Clothing Accessories Export Supplies

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