The London-based International Apparel Federation (IAF) is scheduled to hold its 17th annual meeting in Taipei October 31-November 1, according to a statement released Monday by the Taiwan Textile Federation (TTF).

The gathering is expected to bring together 300 leaders in the field from 30 states.

The TTF noted in the press release that the IAF is composed of leading firms in the textile and apparel-manufacturing industries from 25 countries. It was founded to provide a forum for firms in this field to exchange experiences and opinions in apparel manufacturing, textile production, marketing and trading.

Taiwan was chosen to host the 2001 annual conference in Taipei thanks mainly to the island's large production of man-made fibres and its role as the world's sixth biggest exporter of textiles and 15th biggest exporter of apparel, said the TTF press release.

The choice of Taiwan as host is all the more important in light of the island's limited number of diplomatic allies and its poor access to international organisations, said the press release.