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Chinese offer help to Almaty flea market traders

16 september 2013, 18:38
Almaty flea market before the fire. Tengrinews.kz stock photo.
Almaty flea market before the fire. Tengrinews.kz stock photo.
Almaty flea market after the fire. ©Roza Yesenkulova
Almaty flea market after the fire. ©Roza Yesenkulova
Chinese suppliers have offered to help out the Almaty flea market traders whose goods were damaged in the 5400 sq meter fire days ago, Tengrinews correspondent reports from the burned down market.

“The Chinese are ready to help us out. ‘Restore your workplaces and we will dispatch our goods to you, and you can make the payment via a bank transfer’, they say”, the Kazakhstan traders told the correspondent.

Chinese goods dominate the huge flea market in the lower outskirts of Almaty. Although the goods are often of inferior quality, they are cheaper than those sold in boutiques located in malls. Besides the choice at the market is large enough to suit almost any taste.

Bank transfers have never been a preferred or a widely used way of settlement between the Chinese suppliers and the local traders. In most cases the traders travel to the country of origin of their goods – such as China – themselves, handpick the goods and deliver them to Almaty in their luggage or arrange for a container shipment. All this is largely paid for in cash.

In these particular circumstances – with the fire driving the traders deeply in red – the local market traders could benefit from wireless settlement with their Chinese supplies, especially those who have lasting contacts in China. China, on the other hand, will retain its market in Kazakhstan, make some extra money and get a leverage for the future.

“Chinese are ready to wait until we recover our feet,” the local traders, adding that the Chinese will likely agree to get the payments on deferred terms.

The fire started at 1:33 p.m. on September 13 in Olzha section of the largest flea market of Almaty. Later the fire spilled into Ayan section and partially into Keremet and Alatau sections.

The fire was taken under control and stopped from spreading at 7:59 p.m. the same day and completely extinguished only in the morning of the following day at 6:38 a.m. A total of 1518 firefighters, 142 fire engines and 2 helicopters were involved in the massive firefighting operation.

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