Sunday, March 24, 2013
Wall Street Journal: Chinese Create Tax-Free Zone for Art:
A Chinese state-owned company is aiming to stoke the country's cultural sector with a tried-and-tested industrial model that has worked in the past for China's manufacturing industries: Create a tax-free zone for companies in the arts-and-entertainment world.
Located adjacent to Beijing Capital Airport, the planned Beijing Freeport of Culture is the brainchild of Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group, a conglomerate owned by the Beijing municipal government. The Freeport, expected to partially open next year, promises warehouses for art storage, offices for companies involved in everything from luxury goods to software design, and production facilities for film and television.
All services and goods exchanged at the Freeport, which is expected to cost Gehua 5 billion yuan (US$802.1 million) to build, will be free of government taxes. ...
But some are skeptical. Ji Tao, a researcher with the Auction Research Institute of Central University of Finance and Economy in Beijing, said it is foolish to think creative industries would sprout the same way low-cost manufacturing did in China's special economic zone. "This is a new concept made up out of nothing," said Mr. Ji. "A Freeport is for industrial products, which need to be processed with raw material inputs. But culture isn't like this."