South American textile and apparel companies have joined their North American, European and African counterparts in backing an emergency meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to delay the phasing out of quotas in 2005.

The Federacion Textil Andina (FTA), which represents textile industry associations from the Andean nations of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, formally endorsed the Istanbul Declaration on April 6.

The declaration is a letter to the director-general of the WTO calling for the emergency meeting.

With the endorsement of the FTA, the number of trade associations backing the declaration has been brought to 39, and the number of countries represented has risen to 31.