Taiwan's textiles industry is monitoring developments closely as the devastating terrorist attacks in New York and Washington threaten to disrupt local textiles exports to the island's major overseas market.

A number of local textiles companies have contacted their US clients to ensure their safety and enquire on the status of orders booked earlier.

The US has traditionally been the biggest market for Taiwan-made garments and clothes, while a sizeable chunk of its textiles exports are to various countries in the Middle East.

As certain US retaliation for the terrorist attacks may well centre on Middle East targets, Taiwan textiles makers are concerned how future developments will affect their export business. They forecast their orders will certainly suffer if the US and its allies retaliate against Middle East targets on a large scale and over a prolonged period.

Textiles makers are now actively confirming the status of previously-booked US export orders. Major long fibre clothes maker Chia Her International has a number of US clients, including a client in New York which it has successfully contacted.

However, to ensure the disciplined operation of its production lines, the company is considering diverting orders to other, lower-priced markets, anticipating difficulties in shipping orders to the east coast of the US due to transport disruption.

Universal Precision Textile produces garments made from locally-produced long fibre. The company ctoday onfirmed it had remained in contact with its US buyers and said the quotation and offer process remained normal at present.

But it expects its quotations to be lifted on the basis rising oil prices and transportation costs and believes that its export prices to countries in the Middle East are bound to rise due to additional surcharge on transportation insurance into a potential war zone.

Those clients it has been able to contact have confirmed that they are proceeding with their orders. However, the company is still waiting for a response from world-famous shoe manufacturer Nike, whose main office was located in the destroyed World Trade Centre in New York.

The company said it expected to receive confirmation of orders from US clients by the end of the week, and that it did not expect the impact of the terrorist attacks on the local textiles sector to last for long.