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A man walks past the newest factory opened by the Irish company C&F Tooling in Qingxi Township, Dongugan city in the Pearl River Delta of Southern China. While remaining one of the world's most important manufacturing bases, factories in the delta are facing threats from a slowing export economy, rising producers' inflation, and increasing difficulty to retain skilled labour. In 2007, the town of Qingxi, which is home to some 800 manufacturers, exported some Euro 3.7 billion worth of goods.