Dynamic global infrastructure: The freeport as value chain
In an interview with China Daily in 2014, Wang Yudong, director of the art trade centre at the Beijing Culture Free Port, declared: “We have mapped out a global free-port strategy. Our aim is to build an art free-port network in Asia” (Deng, 2014: para. 5). Facilitated by state partners from Geneva to Singapore, Luxembourg, Germany, Paris and the state-affiliated Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group of the Beijing Freeport of Culture, freeports are believed by many governmental organisations to be a fast-track to a more mature and sustainable art market. In broad terms, freeports are special customs areas, or small customs territories, in which customs regulations are generally less strict, or for which there are no customs duties. Though each freeport varies slightly in terms of its individual jurisdictional arrangement with the respective states, they have established themselves as prominent nodes for international wealth and its traffic.