Bonded cultural free trade zone to be built in Beijing

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Construction on a bonded cultural free trade zone kicked off near the Beijing Capital International Airport in the city's northeast Shunyi district on Sunday morning.

Funded by the management committee of the Beijing Tianzhu Free Trade Zone and Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group, the 510,000-square-meter Beijing Free Port of Culture will be established as a sub-zone of the Beijing Tianzhu Free Trade Zone and will specialize in the culture industry, Wang Jianqi, chairman of Gehua, said while addressing the groundbreaking ceremony.

The free port zone is designed to consist of three functional areas -- the International Exhibition and Trade Center for Cultural Products, the International Cluster for Cultural Trading Enterprises and the International Cultural Warehousing and Logistics Center, Wang said.

The project will be completed in 2015, but it will be partially put into operation in 2013.

Upon completion, the free port will serve as a public platform providing bonded warehousing services for cultural production, exchange and trade organizations with an expected annual turnover of 50 billion yuan (7.92 billion U.S. dollars), according to Wang.

The cultural free trade zone will also use the preferential policies of the Tianzhu Free Trade Zone to provide trade services for the collection of antiques and artworks, cultural design and production, high-end cultural exhibitions and fashion design, said Li Danyang, general manager of Gehua Cultural Development Group.

The establishment of the free port will help promote China's cultural products and services exports and cultivate a group of cultural enterprises and talents, Lu Wei, deputy mayor of Beijing, said at the ceremony.

It is expected to serve as a pilot project for the implementation and innovation of policies and regulations on international trade, Lu said.

China can promote cultural enterprises, products and services in going global by building such kinds of cultural exchange platforms in major trade ports, Vice Minister of Culture Zhao Shaohua said at the ceremony.

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