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Special supplement: Pioneering Guangdong records many 'firsts'
Latest Updated at 2008-November-19 09:25:45

Guangdong province has been a pioneer in many fields in China's drive toward reform and opening-up.

In 1978, the Fangcun district in Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong, took the lead in the country in deregulating the prices of fish and vegetables.

Also that year a handbag enterprise was founded in Dongguan city of Guangdong that was the first in the country to use the business model of processing raw materials for clients, or assembling goods and processing according to samples and engaging in commercial trade.

The cities of Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shantou, together with Xiamen in Fujian province, received the green light in 1979 to establish what were later called the special economic zones that allowed them to practice special policies and employ flexible measures in foreign economic and trade issues. The zones later became an important symbol of China's reform and opening-up.

Also in 1979, approval was given for establishing the first export-processing zone of China in Shekou, Shenzhen.

In 1981, the Guangdong People's Congress was authorized along with its counterparts in Fujian to make specific economic regulations for the zones.

The first group of migrant workers appeared in economically growing Guangdong in 1982.

In 1983, the first stock of a shareholding enterprise was issued to the public by a company in Shenzhen.

Construction of the first Sino-foreign five-star hotel, the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou, was also completed that year. It was the first high-class hotel in China that allowed ordinary citizens to visit.

In 1984, the first toll bridge in the country started collecting fees in Dongguan, creating the model of financing roads, an approach that would greatly improve the road facilities in the province. In 1984, Guangzhou and Zhanjiang, together with 12 other coastal cities in China, were further opened up and allowed to establish economic and technological development zones. In 1992, Shaoguan, Heyuan and Meizhou were designated as coastal economic open zones. Daya Bay and Nansha were allowed to build economic zones that year.

In 1985 Guangzhou, Foshan, Jiangmen and Zhanjiang became national pilot cities in overall reform in the economic system. In 1987, Guangdong became a national pilot zone for overall reform.

In 1986, the Shenzhen municipal government issued a provisional regulation on shareholding reform of State-owned enterprises in the city, which was the first of its kind in the country.

The Shenzhen Stock Exchange was founded in 1991.

In 1992, Guangdong became the first province to stop using grain coupons as it deregulated grain prices.

In 1993, the Shenzhen Property Rights Exchange was founded, becoming the first cross-regional exchange of its kind in the country.

Guangdong also took the lead in providing individual social insurance.

Editor: Yan

By: Li Ji Source: China Daily Website
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