Vietnam plans to increase its annual garment exports to $10-12bn by 2010, and is calling for more foreign investment to help the sector meet its goals.

The rise would represent growth of up to $4.65m on this year's export target of $7.35bn, and an even heftier increase over last year's export shipments of $5.8bn.

Le Quoc An, chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas), told local media that Vietnam's industry also needs to raise the locally made content in products to 50%.

Eight programmes to develop the textile and garment industry will be launched between now and 2010.

They will include projects to raise local textile production and reduce reliance on yarn and fibre imports, and the setting up of fashion centres nationwide.

In the first four months of this year, Vietnam's apparel exports rose 32% to $2.19bn. Full year exports are expected to be 25% ahead of last year.

The US is the biggest export market for Vietnam, taking more than half its apparel exports, followed by the EU and Japan.