Commercial councillors from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and representatives of China’s textile and garment sector held a dialogue in Beijing on April 21 to bolster bilateral cooperation in this field.

Co-Chairman of the China-ASEAN Business Association Xu Ningning said his country and the bloc hold great cooperation potential in the textile and garment industry.

He said the increased connectivity of countries’ textile and garment associations will help expand collaboration among their companies. He also asked Chinese companies to make full use of incentives under the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA), which is being upgraded, to foster investments in Southeast Asian nations.

General Secretary of the China Chamber of Commerce for the Import and Export of Textile and Apparel, Zhang Xi’an, said since the establishment of the ACFTA, ASEAN has been among the top markets for Chinese textile and garment exporters.

In recent years, the regional countries’ demand for Chinese products has risen by over 30 percent per year, a positive sign for cooperation in this realm, he added.

For their part, the commercial councillors of Malaysia, Laos, the Philippines and Indonesia presented the development trend of their textile and garment sectors and proposed affiliation opportunities in the time ahead.

Data shows that China shipped 36.1 billion USD worth of textiles and garments to Southeast Asia and imported 3.9 billion USD of these commodities from the region in 2014.-VNA