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Ceramics Museum showcases evolution of international manufacturing in China’s Pearl River Delta

Forty years after the start of China’s reform and opening up to the world, Dongguan, located...
Forty years after the start of China’s reform and opening up to the world, Dongguan, located along the Pearl River Delta, has emerged as one of the country’s most important manufacturing centers.(Lane Luckie/KLTV & KTRE)
Updated: Oct. 3, 2018 at 9:11 AM CDT
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DONGGUAN, CHINA (KLTV/KTRE) - Forty years after the start of China’s reform and opening up to the world, Dongguan, located along the Pearl River Delta, has emerged as one of the country’s most important manufacturing centers.

The country’s tenth largest city is home to more than 30 thousand businesses, including many with a focus in the manufacturing of electric machinery, clothing, shoe making, toy and furniture. These industries have elevated the city’s import and export volume to a rank of fifth in the entire country.

Promoting itself as a ‘pioneer’ of China’s economic reform and opening up, Donngguan cites its rapid development from a traditional agricultural county to an international manufacturing hub. This emphasis has led to GDP growth rate of 18 percent from 1978 to 2011, according to figures provided by the People’s Government of Guangdong Province.

More than 12 thousand of Dongguan’s enterprises are foreign-funded, totaling $71 billion in foreign investment, the city says. Dupont, Phillips, and Samsung have invested in more than 80 projects in Dongguan.

As China’s largest producer and distributor of ceramic tile, Wonderful Ceramic Co. Ltd. and its Marco Polo brand relies heavily on foreign trade. Company representatives say U.S. exports account for 40 percent of their business.

Wonderful Group operates other production bases in Qingyuan, Fengcheng, Rongchang, opened a $150 million ceramic tile plant in Lebanon, Tennessee in 2016. The Tennessee facility operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary under the ‘American Wonder Porcelain’ name.

A spokesperson says the ongoing trade war between the United States and China is having an impact on operations due to major shipping companies reducing their trans Pacific lines.

Displaying its products and showcasing the history of ceramics in China, Wonderful Group opened the China Architecture Ceramics Museum in 2006

The three-story facility features showrooms containing examples of common techniques utilized in Chinese art and pottery, as well as the process of architectural ceramics manufacturing.

KLTV & KTRE’s Lane Luckie is traveling to Asia to explore the current issues related to the important bilateral relationship between the world’s two largest economies -- the United States and China. Click here to follow Lane’s travels and explore our special coverage, China In Focus.

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