Dongguan Waterfront Economic Development Zone (“the Zone”) lies at the heart of the PRD region in northwest Dongguan, where the north trunk stream and south tributary of Dongjiang River flow through. Covering 510 sq. km. of area (about 21% of the city’s total), the Zone comprises ten towns and one port: Zhongtang, Daojiao, Wangniudun, Machong, Hongmei, Wanjiang, Shilong, Shijie, Gaobu, Shatian and Humen Port. It is home to 1.58 million permanent residents. In 2012, Dongguan adopted the strategy of coordinated development of waterfront areas to promote coordinated regional development. In 2013, the Zone became a provincial-level development strategic platform as the Development and Reform Commission of Guangdong Province released the Overall Plan for Development of Dongguan Waterfront Economic Development Zone of Guangdong Province (2013-2030).
Dongguan Waterfront Economic Development Zone has always been a beautiful land of abundance. With profound change in the regional economic pattern of Guangdong Province and economic restructuring of Dongguan City in recent years, the Zone has seen increasing strategic significance and development potential.
Apart from 256.8 thousand mu (about 17 hectares or so) of farming land, the Zone features the largest river density in the PRD region at 1.64 km./sq. km. Local river networks span 122.4 sq.km. and total length of trunk streams and tributaries amounted to 837.4 km. or so. There are stretches of banana trees, orchards and vegetables, numerous fishponds and wetlands, as well as crisscross networks of rivers. With a heavy concentration of water, mud flats and coastal resources, it is praised by Governor Zhu Xiaodan as a piece of “treasured ecological land”.
Endowed with a profound cultural legacy and rich cultural resources, Dongguan Waterfront Economic Development Zone is home to twelve intangible cultural heritages of national, provincial or municipal status. It is also renowned in China and abroad as the hometown of dragon boat, hometown of festive lantern, hometown of qiqiao (Double-Seventh Festival) culture, hometown of quyi (Chinese folk art), hometown of fine food and hometown of swimming. Traditional customs that have been inherited from the long-standing Lingnan culture, such as the Lantern Festival in Hongmei, Gourmet Festival in Daojiao, Scents of Four Seasons Cultural Festival in Machong, Water Cultural Festival in Shatian, and Charming Double-Seventh Festival in Wangniudun, attract a large number of visitors from within the country and abroad.
Dongguan Waterfront Economic Development Zone is located in the middle and only low-density development section of the Guangdong-Hong Kong Economic Belt. Future expansions along the belt, whether it be Guangzhou or Shenzhen, will inevitably drive high-end resources to the Zone, making it a new point of growth. In particular, the Wangniudun-Hongmei Hub Station located at the center of the Zone serves as one of the four major links on the rapid-rail backbone network of the PRD region. The station is expected to connect with Guangzhou in the north, Shenzhen and Hong Kong in the south, downtown Dongguan and Huizhou in the east, as well as with Nansha, Foshan, Zhongshan and Zhuhai in the west. Half an hour’s drive will allow access to the city proper of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan, Huizhou etc. Further, it will provide direct access to Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, Shenzhen Bao’an Airport and Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok Airport. Construction of the rail transit system will further enhance the space value of the Zone. What’s more, major thoroughfares that transverse the Zone, including Guangzhou-Shenzhen Expressway, Guangzhou-Shenzhen Yanjiang Expressway, Humen Bridge No. 2, Lianhuashan Cross-River Passage, Humen Port Branch of Humen-Fenggang Expressway and Xintang-Paitan Expressway, can bring superior transportation and thus broad development prospect for the Zone.