Korea's garment exports reached US$3.6 billion last year making it the world's 12th biggest exporter according to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

KITA said that statistics produced by the World Trade Organisation showed Korea has slipped from the sixth largest exporter in 1996 because its textile firms are struggling to compete on price.

Korea is the world's fifth largest fabric and yarn exporter, shipping a total of US$10.1bn worth in 2003.