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UPDATED: 16:44, May 24, 2004
Textile Institute World Conference opens in Shanghai
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The 83rd Textile Institute World Conference opened Monday in Shanghai, China's economic center and largest industrial city, with the attendance of over 600 participants from over 40 nations and regions.

Huang Mengfu, a vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), attended the opening ceremony.

Du Yuzhou, chairman of the China Textile Industry Association, made a key-note speech and said that the world's textile industry is expected to enter a new period of expansion, due to the fast development of science and textile and market demands.

Du criticized some foreign countries' protectionism against China's textile exports, saying it has hurt China's textile industry as well as international consumers. He stressed that China will adhere to WTO principles and protect the rights of China's textile industry.

In China, the textile industry has not only met the increasing market demands but also helped ease the severe pressure of employment, Du said. Currently, some 18 million people including millions of laid-off laborers from the countryside are working for the industry, he noted.

In 2003, China produced 18 million tons of fabrics, about 30 percent of the world's total, and its fabrics and garments exports were worth 80.48 billion US dollars, 17 percent of the world's total.

China's textile exports contribute a great deal to its international balance, Du said. According to him, in the first quarter of this year, the country reported a 8.44 billion US dollars deficit in foreign trade, 7.42 billion US dollars more than the figure of the same period of last year, while its fabrics and garments exports reported a surplus of 15.65 billion US dollars, up 29.2 percent.

The Textile Institute is a worldwide professional association for people working with fiber and fabrics, clothing and footwear, interior and technical textiles. This meeting is the first held in China.

Source: Xinhua

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