The Port of Jiangmen lies on the banks of the Xi River as it enters the Pearl River Delta in South China. About 65 kilometers southeast of the Port of GuangZhou (formerly Canton), it is the second busiest port in Guangdong Province and the focal point for the region’s agricultural market. In 2002, more than 360 thousand people called the Port of Jiangmen home.
The Port of Jiangmen was a busy commercial center in the 13th and 14th Centuries during China’s Yuan and Ming Dynasties. Jiangmen was once a stopping point on China’s ancient maritime Silk Road. It was also the site for a battle between the Song and Yuan dynasties in the 13th Century.
Opened to foreign trade as a treaty port in 1904, it grew much slower than the nearby cities of GuangZhou and Hong Kong, and it suffered more during the worldwide depression of the 1930s. In 1913, the first Chinese built and financed railway to Doushan opened there. However, the rails were destroyed during World War II.
The Port of Jiangmen was made a provincially-administered municipality in 1951, but it later came under the jurisdiction of several other prefectures. A highway network links the Port of Jiangmen with Guangdong’s western coastal region, and although it is mainly a commercial center, it has seen some industrial development since the 1950s. A plant constructed to make sugar and pulp was converted to convert wastes into chemicals, bricks, yeast, alcohol, cement, medicines, and many other products.
The regional central Jiangmen Municipality was established in 1983 and given responsibility for administering several counties. The Port of Jiangmen has benefited from investments from Hong Kong since the 1980s, stimulating growth and industrial development. Being the second biggest inland port in Guangdong, daily luxury ferries carry passengers between the Port of Jiangmen, Hong Kong, and Macau.
China’s government selected the Port of Jiangmen as a pilot for a nationwide information program, and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council selected it as a pilot for the Regional Integration for Sustainable Economics (RISE) project.
The World Bank ranked Jiangmen as the fourth of 23 China cities being evaluated and it was selected for its excellent infrastructure, ample labor, number and variety of joint ventures, and the city’s ability to secure revenues. The Port of Jiangmen’s economic development focuses on three urban districts and four economic center-city zones. The local government is developing an industrial zone in the harbor that will include plants for machinery and petrochemicals.
Over 3.7 million overseas Chinese living in 107 countries across the world come from the Port of Jiangmen, strengthening its strong international connections.