|A worker checks the circuit chip at a display manufacturing plant in Dongguan, Guangdong province. The city, known as a manufacturing hub in the country and the world, is aiming at sustainable economic growth. (Photo/China Daily)|
Mayor says crackdown on sex trade will not lead to economic slowdown
The economy of Dongguan in Guangdong province will maintain sustainable development this year, although public concerns have already been spreading over a possible slowdown after a campaign against prostitution in the city since early February, a senior government official said.
Yuan Baocheng, mayor of Dongguan, said the city's economy is expected to increase by 9 percent year-on-year in 2014 because it will make a breakthrough in industrial upgrading and a number of key high-tech projects will receive investment.
"As one of the world's important manufacturing hubs, Dongguan has never relied on the illegal sex trade industry for economic growth," Yuan said.
A three-month sex-trade crackdown, following media exposures of a rampant prostitution in Dongguan, in the heart of the Pearl River Delta, put the city into the spotlight, with growing concerns over a possible economic slowdown.
Early media reports estimated that at least 300,000 people work in the sex industry in Dongguan. It was reported the sector, together with related services, could account for 10 percent of the local economic output. The figures could not be officially confirmed.
"I have never admitted that Dongguan is the 'sex capital' of China. The city has only one name - Dongguan. It occupies a leading position in the world's manufacturing industry," Yuan told China Daily, adding the investigation into the illegal sex trade is still in progress and the local authorities will make the utmost effort to improve the business environment by preventing rampant prostitution in the future.
"We are bracing ourselves for a turning point in the economic structure," Yuan, also a deputy to the National People's Congress, said during the annual session of the NPC in Beijing.
"If we successfully make a breakthrough in industrial upgrading, the city's economy will maintain an increasing momentum in the years ahead," he added.