A Chinese conglomerate backed by the state is planning to build a 5 billion yuan Freeport in Beijing, which is to be a tax-free zone for art and entertainment companies. It will be called the Beijing Freeport of Culture.
A report in the Wall Street Journal states that the zone which is located next to the Beijing Capital Airport aims to, “stoke the country’s cultural sector,” it continues that the tax-free zone is “an attempt to position the Chinese capital as a leading regional art hub and assuage collector concerns about high punitive import taxes for artwork”.
Plans are reportedly in place to partially open the Freeport next year. The idea, which is the dream of stated-owned conglomerate Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group, will be modeled after the “special economic zones” that have made China a manufacturing superpower. The concept of this freezone will be the first time a “tax-free, infrastructure investment model” has been used to “facilitate” growth in the art and culture sector.
Chinese daily newspaper Jing Daily says Gehua will be “collaborating with the Swiss holding company Euroasia, which previously worked on the Singapore Freeport.” Should the Beijing Freeport open next year as planned, it could be an important factor in easing the anxieties of some Chinese collectors about high import taxes.