Dongguan’s success in economic development started with a humble beginning of Taiping Handbag Factory being founded in Humen, Dongguan on September 15th, 1978, shortly after Chinese people embarked upon the reform and opening up policy that has had immeasurable influence in shaping today's China.
Taiping Handbag Factory in 1978
Hong Kong funded Taiping Handbag Factory was the first enterprise in mainland China to adapt the business model of processing raw materials, assembling goods and processing according to client specifications.
In 1978, the factory’s operation generated approximately 1 million RMB of processing fees for the local workers, and brought a foreign exchange of HK$600, 000 for the country.
“We can say that this 1-million RMB was the first pot of gold earned by China since its reform and opening up,” said Zheng Jingtao who was the Mayor of Dongguan at that time.
The success of Taiping Handbag Factory was the incentive needed for thousands of foreign-funded enterprises to seek the assistance of Chinese labour.
Dongguan is now home to 7,000 garment factories, 3,000 shoe factories that produce more than 1 billion shoes a year, 3,000 toy factories and literally hundreds of major electronics-assembly plants including such companies as Casio, Sanyo, Hitachi, Samsung, Nokia, Phillips, Kyocera.
An IT processing line (photoed in 2007)
The industrial output value amounted to just short of 665 billion RMB in 2007, and the total industrial output value of scaled enterprises increased by 16.1% from the previous years’ amount of just over 582 billion yuan.
The total import and export volume in 2007 amounted to marginally short of US$107 billion, thereby showing a growth rate of 26.9%.
“No one in China had expected Dongguan’s economy to develop so fast. It’s a historic truth that Dongguan has been a prominent pioneer city in many fields since China’s reform and opening up”, said Yang Zhenning, a Chinese-American physicist and a Nobel Prize winner.
Documetary film “A Legend of Dongguan” on
This year marks the 30th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. The Information Office of Dongguan, together with Dongguan Radio and TV Station and Dongguan's Union of Literary and Art Circles, has produced a documentary film “A Legend of Dongguan”. This production demonstrates the great economic and social progress that Dongguan has made in the past 30 years.
The movie consists of two parts, all in Chinese. The first part will be broadcast on Dongguan TV Channel Ⅰat 8 pm of December 8th and repeated the following day at 8 am. The second part will be shown on Dongguan TV Channel Ⅰat 8 pm of December 9th and repeated the following day at 8 am.
(By Zhou Mingfeng)