PORT LOUIS, Mauritius — Like their competitors around the world, the apparel manufacturers of this Indian Ocean island nation are preparing for the phaseout of quotas in 2005 and wondering how can they avoid going the way of the island’s most famous former resident —?the dodo bird.

The threat is clear: China and India each have massive populations, well established industries and enormous supplies of cotton and other raw materials. They are also seen as preferred suppliers by U.S. importers, who contend that economies of scale make it worth their while to limit the number of countries from which they buy apparel.

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