The Chinese government is hoping to boost employment in China’s politically troubled north-western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region by boosting textile and garment exports.

Its State Council (cabinet) has released a development plan encouraging Xinjiang’s textile sector to boost sales to European markets, Russia, central Asia and western Asia, focusing on clothes with distinctive local characteristics, including Muslim clothing. The State Council wants to exploit Xinjiang’s geographical position astride west-facing ‘Silk Road’ land-based trade routes, using its land-based ports in Keshi, Alashankou, Huoerguosi and Ürümqi (or Wulumuqi).

"Customers from Kyrgyzstan and Russia are very interested in our garments, but so far we haven’t been able to meet the demand from Xinjiang yet," said Albert Abdullah, a representative of the Xinjiang Dalistan Silk Garment Processing Co Ltd. He said his company is seeking to purchase more equipment and plans to hire more workers.

The State Council plan ‘Guidance Notice of Supporting Xinjiang Textile and Garment Industrial Development and Promoting Employment’ targets boosting employment in Xinjiang’s clothing and textile sector by 300,000 within two years [by 2017].

Wang Tiankai, director of China Textile Industry Association, backed the strategy, telling just-style: "Xinjiang’s Muslim clothing and garments with Xinjiang characteristics are very special. If Xinjiang companies can make the most delicate products in a most professional attitude, it can become Xinjiang’s competitive advantage."

The plan promises more China central government money - without giving figures - to help Xinjiang build industrial parks and related infrastructure, while helping the Xinjiang government train technicians and workers. But the plan did stress it wanted additional support and finding to also come from the Xinjiang government.

Xinjiang’s governmental authorities have yet to release its textile and garment export statistics for the first half year.

Late last year just-style reported how the Xinjiang regional government was pushing ahead with a planned US$3.2bn package of incentives to attract investment from textile and garment companies. Click on the following link to read more: China's Xinjiang steps up efforts to lure garment companies.