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Welcome to Dongguan, seeing a hi-tech and innovative revival in the hub of China’s factory base

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 September, 2018, 3:16pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 September, 2018, 3:16pm

[Sponsored Article]

Dongguan, one of the most well-known cities in the mainland to build up its economic miracle in the past decades due to its prosperous manufacturing industry, today, is a new key part of the “Chinese Silicon Valley-style tech corridor” as a new economic engine for the country. 

Dongguan is sitting in the center of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Technology Innovation Corridor, the most important economic belt that connects Guangzhou, Dongguan, Shenzhen and Hong Kong to accumulate the best innovation resources from the four cities.

The corridor will become the core of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, of 56,000 sq km and a population of 68 million, as a globally influential innovation enterprise cluster, backed up by the mainland market of 1.3 billion people. It would also become the nation’s major innovation engine and gateway to connect with global innovation trends.

With no doubts, Dongguan is the key node in this national strategy, between Shenzhen and Guangzhou, looking to become a smart manufacturing base, banking on the rise of domestic tech brands and booming domestic consumption.


A great chance for Hong Kong and foreign investors to know Dongguan

The promotion seminar that was held on Friday in Kerry Hotel Hong Kong was a wonderful showcase on Dongguan’s trade and economic relationship with Hong Kong, exploring great investment opportunities following the latest development of Dongguan’s smart manufacturing and modern service industry.

Leung Chun-ying, former Hong Kong chief executive who is now a vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the top national political advisory body; Dongguan’s party head Liang Wei Dong, Mayor Xiao Yafei attended the event, as well as around 800 participants including senior officials of the both governments and top executives of companies from both Hong Kong and Dongguan.

New carriers and engine to robust Dongguan

Through the seminar, Hong Kong and overseas investors could seek for new opportunities in the city’s new key carriers for a broader economic and hi-tech transformation in Dongguan, like Songguan Lake High-Tech Industrial Development Zone, a nation-level high-tech zone in the center of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Technology Innovation Corridor, Binhiawan New Area, a core area of the Guangdong-Hong Kong- Macau Greater Bay Area; and Dongguan Waterfront Economic Development Zone, Guangdong’s first province – level strategic ‘economic zone’ with waterfront characteristics.

A gathering place for Hong Kong and foreign-invested enterprises

Hong Kong investors, with no doubt, have the closest tie with Dongguan’s economic development. There are over 7,400 Hong Kong-invested enterprises operating in the city, accounting for about 61.5 per cent of its total number of foreign-funded enterprises, with investment of nearly US$ 58 billion totally in the past decades, as a total of 254 Dongguan enterprises has expanded their business in Hong Kong, with US$ 640 million of investment in total

It sees a large trade between Hong Kong and Dongguan to reach 93.2 billion yuan in the first seven months of this year, a 9.3 per cent up than the same period of 2017, equivalent to more than 13 per cent of Dongguan’s total imports and exports of services and products.

Fabulous economic growth

Dongguan’s GDP rose over 7.8 per cent to 386.8 billion yuan in the first half of 2018. Dongguan is anticipating annual GDP growth of 8 per cent in the next five years, with local GDP of more than 920 billion yuan by 2020.


Incredible transformation to move up the value chain

There are a total of over 157,000 industrial enterprises across the city, which have formed mature and advanced industrial clusters, backed up by five pillar industries, including electronics information manufacturing; electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing; textile, clothing and shoe; food and beverage manufacturing; and paper and paper products.

The emerging mainland market for consumer electronic products has boomed Dongguan’s economic upgrades, with three domestic smartphone giants – Oppo, Vivo and Huawei – producing 356 million mobile phones in Dongguan-nearly a quarter of the global total.

The boom in emerging Chinese tech manufacturers has also given Dongguan’s robotics industry a boost. It was home to about 400 companies focused on producing robots and automated equipment last year, according to official data. They employed more than 55,000 people, with output valued at 35 billion yuan.

Most of the preferential policies from the municipal government have sought to foster the introduction of advanced equipment, with the local authorities viewing automation as the way to upgrade the city’s manufacturing sector.

Rising star in innovation

In recent years, Dongguan has adopted an innovation-driven ‘talent-oriented’ development strategy and upgraded its industrial structure, attracting more than 600,000 senior creative, administrative and technical talents to Dongguan for work or business startups.

Currently, Dongguan is home to more than 4,000 national high-tech enterprises and 31 provincial innovative scientific research teams, and they helped the city’s GDP grow at a fast pace in recent years.