France's textile and clothing industries are opposed to any "unilateral concession" from the EU in favour of developing countries at next month's crucial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

During a specially-arranged press conference, French textile and clothing industry representatives, Thierry Noblot and Phillipe-Jean Lecas, also said they would seek a 15 per cent cut in customs tariffs around the world, a ban on all forms of non-tariff trade barriers and protection for brands and designs.

"The moment has come for many Asian and South American countries to open their markets to French and european products," they said. "The meeting in Doha (from November 9-13) is crucial because it must lead to world textile-clothing trade that is open, reciprocal and loyal."

They added: "There comes a moment when you can't accept losing any more, and that moment has come."

The EU's trade in textile and clothing with developed countries showed a surplus last year of $7.6 billion, with European textile and clothing exports to developing countries rising 17 per cent during that period.


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