Portugal and Spain have again objected to European Commission plans to increase textile and clothing imports from Pakistan amid concerns such a move would set a precedent for other Asian countries.

"This is a very sensitive question for Portugal," Portuguese Minister for Trade, Luis Braga Da Cruz, said at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting in Doha, Qatar.

Lisbon was already working hard to make its textile industry more competitive to cope with the abolition of quotas on textiles and garments foreseen as part of the WTO, he said.

Textile and garment concessions being planned by EU trade chief Pascal Lamy for Pakistan in a "trade for peace" package meant that Portugal would have to anticipate such liberalisation, he warned.

He added that Portugal would not allow this to serve as a precedent and an excuse for a general and early liberalisation of textile trade.

Spain's Trade Minister, Rodrigo Rato, said he recognised that Pakistan's role as a frontline state in the war against terrorism justified special trade measures but such concessions should not be offered to other countries.