HANOI, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Vietnamese government sets top priority on Vietnam's garment and textile during the negotiating process of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an expert said Friday. Le Tien Truong, vice chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) said in an interview with Vietnam's state-run news agency VNA in Vietnam's capital Hanoi on Friday that Vietnam's garment and textile sector possesses international competitiveness and will be a potential beneficiary of the TPP. Vietnam earned 17.98 billion U.S. dollars from selling garment products to overseas markets in 2013, posting an increase of 18.6 percent year-on-year, according to Vietnam's Statistics Office ( GSO). Major TPP markets for Vietnamese garment in 2013 included the United States and Japan, which accounted for 43 percent and 11 percent of the country's garment export turnover respectively, Truong cited GSO's statistics, adding the TPP countries are the most important market for Vietnamese garment. Truong said that when joining TPP, Vietnam will have an opportunity to promote investment in material production, thus increasing criteria of trade surplus, added value and localization rate of Vietnamese garment. The official of VITAS made recommendations for the country's garment companies to get prepared for TPP by establishing a tight supply chain with high commitment and responsibility to build competitiveness of each company as well as of the whole chain. Currently in Vietnam, there are about 6,000 companies operating in garment sector, mainly private and foreign invested ones, said Truong. Earlier in December 2013, Vu Duc Giang, chairman of VITAS told local daily Vietnam Economic Times that the year 2013 was seen as a successful year for Vietnamese garment industry. Garment, accounting for 17 percent of the country's total export revenue, ranked the second in the country's top export revenue list in 2013, after phones and accessories, according to GSO.