TexWatch Inc, operator of the textile and garment industry portal, has announced the launch of its eMarketplace, TexExchange.com, at the WWDMAGIC women's apparel exhibition show in Las Vegas.

Supported by a consortium of eight major Hong Kong clothing manufacturers, iASPEC Technologies and Pacific Century CyberWorks (formerly Cable & Wireless HKT), the new trading exchange platform offers a complete global B2B sourcing tool for the $550bn global textile and garment industry. Together, these companies own more than 200 factories and influence over 1,000 others worldwide through subcontracting relationships.

According to Vincent Chan, CEO of TexWatch Inc, TexExchange will assist textile and garment firms to develop joint databases of styles and materials while sharing design and order information. Modular functions include Research and Enquiry, Sampling and Tracking, Negotiation, Order Placement, Quality Assurance, and Logistics and Payment.

"The TexExchange eMarketplace will facilitate a robust trading platform for buyers and sellers within the textile and garment industry, enabling all members to move quickly into electronic transactions and supply chain management," said Mr Chan.

TexExchange will allow flexible trade accessibility by extending the global reach of buyers and sellers through its rapidly expanding online textile and apparel community. In addition, direct contact between buyer and seller will eliminate the traditional middleman thus reducing costs and shortening the sourcing process.

The launch of TexExchange eMarketplace is part of TexWatch's long-term information technology investment strategy. Over the next 12 months, the company plans to invest approximately $15m to enhance its e-commerce capabilities and expand its online textile and garment industry community.

TexExchange.com's sister website, TexWatch.com, has recently launched its new look, and now offers members a more in-depth perspective on the textiles and garment industry. Features include multilingual (English, Spanish, and traditional and simplified Chinese) textile and apparel industry news, quota prices, tariff information, shipping schedules and supplier yellow pages. The information is updated on a daily basis.

TexWatch currently boasts 21,000 global subscribers and achieves over 700,000 page views per month. Firms from Europe and North America comprise 40 per cent of TexWatch's subscriber base, with the remaining 60 per cent mainly from Asia Pacific.

Established in June 1999 by experienced garment and textile executives, TexWatch Inc is dedicated to increasing the efficiency and flexibility of supply chains in the global apparel industry through the use of advanced information technology. It operates three integrated websites: TexWatch.com, TexExchange.com and TexStudio.com, aimed at providing enterprises with a one-stop shop for information and e-business services. Based in Hong Kong, TexWatch Inc has a branch office in Taipei, R&D centres in Nansha and Shenzhen, and representative offices in Beijing, Shanghai, London and Manila.