Textile and clothing makers will be among the main beneficiaries of new tax breaks, lower administrative fees and and easier access to bank loans unveiled by the government on Wednesday (19 November) in a bid to help protect firms from the effects of the global financial slowdown.

A statement published on the central government's website said measures were necessary to "help the textile industry overcome difficulties." 

The latest move follows two rises in tax rebates to help clothing exporters overcome slowing demand from US and European retailers caught up in the global financial crisis.

Exporters have also been hit by rising competition and higher costs and wages this year.

Rebates on textiles, apparel and garments went up to 14% from 1 November, bolstering a 1% rebate increase announced in August.

The higher tax rebates were applied to machine-made cotton fabric, silk yarn, wool yarn, cashmere yarn and fabric woven from wool as well as cashmere and some plant fibre textiles. They also included knitted, woven and other garments.

Growth in exports of garments and accessories between January and September fell by 21.2% compared with the same period of last year, according to China customs.

But despite the purported slowdown, China still accounted for 42.8% of US apparel imports in September, its highest ever level.