Coordination between United States cotton exporters and Vietnamese garment makers would benefit both country's industries, Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association chairman Le Quoc An said last week.

An, responding to the results of a five-day market survey of the US cotton industry, said an arrangement involving the sale of US cotton to Vietnamese manufacturers and the exportation of finished cotton-based garments back to the United States would be ideal.

Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association consulting centre director Tran Duc Thinh agreed, saying such an arrangement could see preferential treatment given to Vietnamese exports made from US raw materials.

While some American companies have said that made-in-Vietnam garments made from at least 50 per cent US raw materials could be entitled to such preferences, the Stateside industry has yet to provide details of its part in such an arrangement.

In 2002, Vietnam imported more than 100,000 tonnes of cotton, with 16 per cent of this coming from the US, while total garment and textile exports are forecast at US$2 billion for fiscal 2003.