Industry officials have predicted that China's textile industry will grow by about six per cent annually over the next five years. Accordingly, total fibre processing volume should reach 14 million tons by 2005, said an official of the State Bureau of Textiles Industry at the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Asian-Pacific Textiles and Garments Forum.

By then, the per capita fibre consumption will reach advanced international levels and the domestic consumption of textiles and garments will be raised sharply, he added. After China becomes a WTO member, the country will take further steps opening up its markets and its textile and garment export would grow too, he said. China will have to adjust the structure of the textile industry, focusing on the development of suiting materials.

The Chinese textile industry needed to modernise its systems. The reform of state-owned firms and the retooling of the traditional textile sector should be high on the industry's agenda, the official concluded.