Garment and textile exports from the Philippines' reached $2.974 billion last year, beating the industry's target by four per cent, industry officials announced on Monday.

However, they said that figure was seven per cent lower than the actual industry's export performance of $3.2bn in 2000.

Garment and Textile Exports Board's (GTEB) executive director, Felicitas Agoncillo-Reyes, explained last year's exports would have topped $3bn had all the reinstated exports late last year been included.

"We could have done better because several foreign buyers have reinstated their orders," he said. "We are still shipping some of the reinstated orders."

Many US buyers have decided to reinstate their orders after meeting with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during a presidential state visit to the US in November last year.

Reyes added that major buyers for brands such as Liz Claiborne, Ann Taylor, Perry Ellis, American Eagle Outfitters, Tamarind International representing NEXT and Marks & Spencer, and Nautica have increased their purchases, while GAP International would raise orders by $20 million.