Kazak-Kyrgyz Border Trade Picks Up After Currency Shock

Trade at the giant Dordoy market outside Bishkek is slowly resuming to life after virtually closing down when buyers from Kazakstan stopped coming.

Kazak-Kyrgyz Border Trade Picks Up After Currency Shock

Trade at the giant Dordoy market outside Bishkek is slowly resuming to life after virtually closing down when buyers from Kazakstan stopped coming.

Friday, 20 February, 2009
The market, which serves as a wholesale purchase centre for traders from neighbouring Kazakstan, emptied when the February 4 devaluation of the Kazak tenge suddenly made it much more expensive for them to shop there.



As reporter Nurlan Abdaliev discovered, the Kazaks are now returning, although not in the kind of numbers that used to flock to Dordoy. They are adjusting to what for them are higher prices, because it is still cheaper than buying imported goods inside Kazakstan.



“We have to move on,” said Omurbek, a trader from the Kazak capital Astana. “So we’ve come and bought some stuff, at least, and we’re hoping things will get better.”



However, the market is still only a shadow of its old self, and many traders who have other options for earning a living are getting out. One clear indication of the downturn is that many of the containers the market traders use to hold their stock have “for sale” or “for rent” signs posted on them.
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