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China's textile exports to maintain growth in 2012: ministry

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BEIJING, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- China's exports of textiles will keep growing this year despite waning demand overseas, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said Thursday.

Although China's textile industry has faced significant pressure and exhibited a downward trend in its expansion, the growth rate of exports in 2012 will not be lower than that of international trade during the same period, as China still retains a competitive edge, the MIIT said in a statement on its website.

The industry posted a year-on-year export growth of 24 percent, reaching 86.4 billion U.S. dollars, in the first 11 months of 2011, pulling back 4.8 percentage points from that of the first half of the year, according to the statement.

Main business revenues rose 27.4 percent during the January-November period, while industrial output went up 10.5 percent year-on-year, said the statement.

The MIIT said the industry has been facing a variety of challenges, including rising labor costs, waning demand, restrained capital supplies and technological improvements, adding that the sector will experience increasing pressure this year.

Some medium- and small-sized companies have already felt the bite, the MIIT said. The number of textile enterprises that posted losses during the January-November period jumped 28.7 percent year-on-year, and the total value of the losses they posted surged 75.9 percent from the same period last year, the MIIT said.

The ministry partly attributed the growing losses to an overreliance on quantity and lower costs to gain market share.

"Their technological progress and development model cannot keep pace with changes in the external environment," said the MIIT.

Despite the sector's gloomy climate, the MIIT expects domestic demand, which is being given an increasing emphasis in the country's economic development, to play a larger role in shoring up the industry.

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