Gap, Liz Claiborne, Target, and Cutter & Buck are among the US garment buyers who have promised to purchase more of their apparel from the Philippines.

Their decisions follow a successful three-day sales mission to Hong Kong, led by Fe Agoncillo-Reyes, executive director of the Garment and Textile Export Board (GTEB) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Many of the buyers said that product quality, reliability, competitive cost and social compliance of local manufacturing operations were behind their decisions to increase orders. And others pledged to support the DTI's campaign to make the Philippines a major supplier of complementary products like fashion accessories, bags, luggage and handicrafts.

Retailer Gap International said that it would increase its imports of locally made garments by $20 million; while Liz Clairborne indicated that it would source an additional 15 percent from the region.