With a spate of pro-duty free policies, a flurry of newly launched trade events, and a massive landmark cultural destination under construction on its north short, the island of Hainan, China’s southernmost province, is adding spurs to diversify the economy. 

Its latest move is the launch of the Hainan International Art Trading Center (HIATC), a significant part of its plan to build the Hainan Free Trade Port (FTP) into a world player.  

What is Hainan International Art Trading Center?

In essence, a platform for international art trading. It will function both online and offline with eight onsite centers aiding the trading of art in areas of finance, data, business, and logistics.

Backed by both local and national authorities, HIATC will play a role in drawing up policies facilitating art trade across customs clearance, bonded goods, and warehousing. 

Why Hainan International Art Trading Center matters

As the travel industry rebounds post-pandemic, and with locations like Hainan emerging as popular domestic destinations, how will 2021 shape up for Chinese tourism? Image: Shutterstock

“The new IATC will be an important step for Hainan to become an international art center in the near future,” says Aishan Zhang, Director of Museum 2050 Image: Shutterstock

In recent years, China’s institutions and growing class of collectors have prioritized purchasing items of the country’s cultural heritage from international markets. HIATC has been established to facilitate precisely these transactions, and will host organizations including the China Overseas Returned Cultural Relics and Artworks Collection and Exhibition Center. 

HIATC will inevitably draw China’s art industry talent and new capital, which, when paired with the existing advantages of the Free Trade Zone, will make Hainan a national hub for art. “The new IATC will be an important step for Hainan to become an international art center in the near future, potentially the new ‘Miami’ of China,” says Aishan Zhang, Director of Museum 2050, an organization tracking the growth of China’s cultural industries. “Art trading isn’t a brand new practice in China. But in Hainan, a city that is not comparable to metropolises like Beijing, Shanghai, or Hong Kong, this type of art trading will probably contribute to its already booming tourism and real estate market.”

What HIATC said

“It will be a platform for more artworks, those from overseas and domestic ones, to do dual circulation here. It will also establish a platform to be shared jointly by artists, collectors, and museums to serve the construction of the Hainan FTP.” — Wang Yong, Chairman of HIATC