Vietnamese garment and textile exports have risen 38.3 per cent year-on-year to US$3.37 billion for the year to date, the country's trade ministry said on Friday.

The top three importers of Vietnamese textiles and apparel so far this year, meanwhile, were the United States with US$2bn worth, the European Union with US$570 million worth, and Japan with $500m worth.

In a bid to further boost exports to the US, Vietnamese garment makers have been in negotiations with their Stateside counterparts to form a new closed circuit production model.

It will see US firms sell raw cotton to Vietnamese manufacturers who, in turn, will export garments made from US cotton back to the United States.

For fiscal 2003, Vietnamese garment and textile exports are expected to reach US$3.65bn in value, exceeding the previously held yearly target by US$400m.