South African textile firms are poised to win a major order from a US importer that is nervous about sourcing from Pakistan as war rages in neighbouring Afghanistan, trade sources claimed today.

The trade and industry department is helping arrange for South African firms to supply bed sheets to the US in a deal valued at R300m, it emerged at meeting of the US Corporate Council on Africa

According to an unnamed trade diplomat, several firms are set to win a huge order from international textile and apparel buying agent Linmark, that will force them to drastically increase production.

He added that would be more many business opportunities for South African textile and clothing firms as US importers were nervous about sourcing from Arab and other Islamic countries in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the US.