Vietnam's textile and garment exports have surged past last year's total of $2.4 billion and are now on course to hit the $2.6bn mark this year, delighted industry chiefs revealed on Tuesday.

Mai Hoang An, general director of the Vietnam Textile and Garment Corp (Vinatex), said that welcome growth was led by a sharp rise in exports to the US and EU with US exports set to hit $850 million versus $47m in 2001 thanks to a trade deal.

He added EU clothing orders were up on the back of a 25 per cent jump in import quotas while Japan and other Asian countries had also imported higher levels of Vietnamese-made apparel.