Vietnam's top textile and garment exporters have begun to draft a competition strategy in the aim of better allocating quotas from the US, the nation's biggest garment importer, and to defend itself from increasing global competition.

Vietnam fears tougher trading conditions now that World Trade Organisation quotas have ended, meaning that countries which - unlike Vietnam - previously had limited export capacities, now have the freedom to ship unrestricted amounts of garments and textiles overseas.

The country's Deputy Trade Minister, Le Danh Vinh, says that the trade ministry is altering its structure of quota allocation in line with changes seen since WTO quotas ended in January this year.

The government also encouraged local businesses to speak up about any issues they were concerned with about the present export system, and said that any complaints or petitions would be dealt with within three to seven days.

Vietnam's Prime Minister, Phan Van Khai, has already given the country's textile and garment manufacturers permission to transfer US export quotas, thus allowing exporters with surplus quota allowance to pass it to those lacking quotas.

In January and February 2005, Vietnam's textile and garment exports grew 1.4 per cent from last year - a long way below the industry's goal of 18 per cent growth for the full year.