Shanghai Free Trade Zone 9 years on / Industrial Development

Shanghai FTZ's cultural relics, artworks trade continues to flourish |  Updated:2022-07-19

The Bonded Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) handled imports and exports of more than 1,800 cultural relics and artworks with a combined value of over 3 billion yuan ($444 million) during the January-to-May period, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The area of Shanghai FTZ is one of the first bonded areas in China to conduct artwork and cultural relics trade.

FTZ Art is the operation entity of the bonded area's culture sector, and has imported and exported artworks worth a total of over 70 billion yuan since 2013, according to the company's chairman Hu Huanzhong.

Hu said that the total value of imported and exported artworks set a record high by exceeding 17.5 billion yuan in 2021 alone.

"During the COVID-19 outbreak, employees staying at the bonded warehouse completed the online examinations of more than 400 cultural relics worth $77 million, so that the goods could still be delivered to auction houses, artistic institutions and collectors in time," Hu said.

The area's favorable business environment and highly efficient services have attracted many cultural artifact and artwork companies to set up operations in the region.

Leading auction house Sotheby's recently established an e-commerce subsidiary in the bonded area of Shanghai FTZ and said it will set up its China headquarters in Shanghai.

"Operations in Shanghai FTZ will create more opportunities for Sotheby's and allows domestic collectors and art enthusiasts to get closer to high-class works without having to travel overseas," said Sotheby's senior director Qian Jin.

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