Covering an area of 2 465 sq km, Dongguan became a city at county level only in 1985, and then, a city at prefectural level in 1988. Dongguan is also a well-known hometown of thousands of overseas Chinese.
The land is fertile and crisscrossed with water channels, ponds and reservoirs. It is originally a farming area and a productive base of rice, peanuts, litchis, bananas, poultry, fish, shrimps, crabs and eels.
It is popular for fireworks and straw mats, rice noodles, Baisha ducks, Humen crabs, Houjie smoked sausages and Qingxi mangoes. But in the past years with the rapid expansion of its industry, great changes have taken place in Dongguan.
Adjacent to Guangzhou in the north and Shenzhen, Macao and Hong Kong in the south, Dongguan lies near the mouth of the Pearl River and in a favorable geographic condition. Dongguan, situated to the east of the Pearl River Delta, is a transportation hub connecting Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and the harbors along the Pearl River. It is only a 30-minute drive to Shenzhen Airport, 45 minutes to Huanggang Harbor and an hour's drive to New Baiyun Airport in Huadu District. In the north lies the Guangzhou-Huizhou Highway and in the southwest is the No. 107 National highway.
The advantageous geographic location has helped Dongguan become an important channel for the flow of information and goods in South China and one of the most dynamic economic centers in Guangdong Province.
Serving as an international base for the manufacturing industry with over 10 000 manufacturing enterprises of all sorts, it has a comprehensive industrial system making a wide range of products, with computer parts manufacturing as its backbone. The city is able to produce 95% of all computer parts and peripheral equipments. Enterprises can purchase parts and accessories, and sell products in the same place, thus reducing costs and raising efficiency and international competitiveness.
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