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Dongguan (Guangdong) City Information

Major Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators20152016
(%, y-o-y)
(%, y-o-y)
Gross Domestic Product (RMB billion)627.518.01682.778.11
Per Capita GDP (RMB)
Added Value Output
- Primary Industry  (RMB billion)2.05-0.412.28-0.31
- Secondary Industry (RMB billion)290.306.21317.25 7.21
- Tertiary Industry (RMB billion)335.1610.01363.248.91
Value-added Industrial Output2 (RMB billion)271.11
5.31287.83 7.01
Fixed-assets Investment (RMB billion)144.65
Retail Sales of Consumer Goods (RMB billion)218.47
Inflation (Consumer Price Index, %)1.42.7
Exports (RMB billion)642.837.9
Imports (RMB billion)397.25-1.3
Utilised Foreign Direct Investment (US$ billion)5.31917.5

1 In renminbi real terms
2 For all state-owned and other forms of enterprises with annual sales over RMB20 million
Source: Dongguan Municipal Statistics Bureau


General Background

Taking its name from being to the east (Dong) of Guangzhou and being rich in guan, a variety of wetland grass, Dongguan is located on the east bank of the Pearl River and forms part of the middle section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong economic corridor. Overall, the municipality covers a land area of 2,460 sq km and, as of the end of 2016, its permanent population stood at 8.26 million people.

The city has long acted as a manufacturing base for many of the world’s leading multinational businesses, while also being seen as one of China’s leading industrial and commercial centres. According to the 2016 China Urban Competitiveness Report, published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Dongguan ranked 14th overall on the mainland in terms of “comprehensive economic competitiveness”.


The principal contributors to Dongguan’s GDP are its secondary and tertiary industries, with its primary industry accounting for only a relatively minor share. In recent years, the tertiary industry has outperformed the secondary industry.

Composition of GDP (%)

Primary Industry
Secondary Industry51.4
Tertiary Industry48.2

Source: Dongguan Municipal Statistics Bureau

Dongguan is world-famous as a manufacturing base, as well as being one of China’s most important export centres, with machinery/electrical products and high-tech items its primary growth areas in terms of foreign trade. With its comprehensive industrial chain and extensive range of support sectors, it is now home to some 11,000 foreign-invested enterprises.

The city’s economy is driven by export-oriented manufacturing, with its five pillar industries seen as electronic information; electrical machinery and equipment; textiles, garments, headwear and footwear; food and beverages processing; and paper making and paper products. In 2016, the total value-added industrial output of all of the enterprises in these five sectors (above a designated scale) was RMB195.22 billion (US$29.3 billion), up 8.5% on the previous year. On top of that, four speciality industries – toy/stationery/sports supplies; furniture making; chemical products and packaging – delivered a further RMB28.15 billion, a 0.3% year-on-year increase.

Under the terms of the city’s 13th Five-Year Plan, six sectors have been prioritised for future development – electronic information, equipment manufacturing, cultural tourism, finance, logistics and e-commerce. The municipal government has also emphasised its commitment to upgrading many of the city’s traditional manufacturing sectors, including furniture making and the production of clothing, footwear and headwear. The emphasis here will be on improving quality and adding value through the introduction of intelligent technologies, while cultural elements will be retained to ensure the city’s output remains distinctive. The establishment of industry clusters and R&D centres with a focus on the robotics and smartphone sectors will also be prioritised.

With regard to services, Dongguan is aiming to establish a state-of-the-art sector, one with the capability to meet all of the needs of the advanced manufacturing industries. By 2020, it is anticipated that 63% of the services sector will be of a high contemporary standard and have a particular expertise in finance and insurance, services outsourcing and exhibition and business management, as well as being able to deliver the required standard of health and elderly care to local residents.

Dongguan is also committed to developing its third-party, fourth-party, bonded and cold-chain logistics resources. In line with this, it is hoped that the city will evolve into an e-commerce logistics hub, complete with a cloud-compatible intelligent logistics network, an innovative use of Internet of Things technology and state-of-the-art geographic information resources.

Foreign Trade and Investment

In 2016, Dongguan accounted for 16.6% of Guangdong’s total exports in value terms, solely trailing Shenzhen. Of Dongguan’s total 2016 exports, machinery and electrical products accounted for 71.1%, with 39.4% of these also designated as high-tech products. Over the same period, the city utilised some US$3.93 billion of overseas capital, with 43.2% of that invested in the manufacturing sector.

In terms of tourism resources, Dongguan boasts a number of national AAAA-class visitor attractions, including the Opium War Museum, the Ke Garden and the Arts De Chine Museum, while also being home to the Songshan Lake and the Guanyin Mountain National Forest Park. In 2016, some four million non-mainland tourists visited the city, with 1.11 million coming from overseas and the remainder from Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan. In terms of domestic tourists, some 33.92 million visited the city.



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