Christie’s will hold its first sale in mainland China on Thursday. Bloomberg pairs that with news of China’s new pilot program establishing a free trade zone in Shanghai which Christie’s CEO Steven Murphy considers an opportunity, “we are hopeful that when the free trade zone becomes more open we are there to benefit from that.”
Francois Curiel explains:
“With the presence of the free trade zone, it will be very much easier now for us to import works of art for sale in Shanghai,” Francois Curiel, president of Christie’s Asia said today. “The difference at the moment is no other than the fact that there are high importation taxes in China and not in Hong Kong, which is a free port.”
The government is studying deregulation to allow foreign auction companies to conduct auctions of cultural relics in the free-trade zone, according to a draft plan seen by Bloomberg News. The nation will suspend some laws on foreign companies in the free trade zone starting Oct. 1, the commerce ministry said. No official announcement on the opening of the Shanghai zone has been made.
Christie’s Says Shanghai Free Zone to Make Art Import Easier (Bloomberg)