Guangzhou officials said Tuesday they were confident a six-year drive to improve etiquette among its citizens in time for the Asian Games pays off.

The booming southern metropolis was awarded the massive showpiece event in 2004 and since then it has worked hard to make its people more civilised, in public and at sporting events.

"During the past year we have carried out a series of educational practices aimed at enhancing the citizens' civilized quality, popularizing etiquette as well as promoting knowledge of civilized events watching," a statement from Games organisers said.

This has included issuing the "Etiquette Handbook for Guangzhou Citizens" which was widely distributed at hotels, banks, hospitals and restaurants, and holding regular "Smile Days" and "Mutual Help Days".

"Hosting the Asian Games is a civilised 'baptism' for Guangzhou," the statement said.

"We hope the biggest reward the Asian Games will give to the city is not only to change the city's appearance but also the promotion of manners and the level of social civilization."

More than 14,000 athletes and officials from 45 countries and regions are attending the Asian Games in Guangzhou which sits in the Pearl River Delta, the hub of China's export-oriented "workshop of the world".

The extravaganza - the world's second-largest sporting event after the Olympics - gets underway on Friday.