China increased its number of garment export destinations from 130 to 220 in the period from 1996 to 2000 and the total value of came to more than $152.756bn, Asia Pulse reported.

The country's garment production has maintained a strong growth since the beginning of the 1980s at 5-10 per cent points higher than the average for the global textile industry.

The industry sustained a big loss from the financial crisis in Southeast Asia in 1998, with the export value of garment and accessories dropping 32 per cent at the beginning of 1999. The crisis prompted exporters to open up new markets, especially quota free ones.

Statistics show that since 1998, the garment export to such countries as the Republic of Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Kazakhstan, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Chile, South Africa, Vietnam, Australia and Italy has grown rapidly.

Garment exports reached 11.634 billion pieces in 2000, valued at $29.28bn. Of this, the export of woven garment was 4.395 billion pieces, valued at $17.226bn; the export of knitwear, 7.248 billion pieces, valued at $12.054bn.

Exports of garments and accessories reached a record $36.072bn last year, accounting for 72.4 per cent of the total textiles export, or 14.5 per cent of the national export. Of this, the export of woven garment and accessories was $18.866bn, and knitwear was $13.425bn.

In the 1996-2000 period, garment exports accounted for 70 per cent of the total textile export figure.