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Kyrgyzstan 2011: Nothing to Offer?
Written by , Tuesday, 3 May, 2011 – 16:32 | 6 Comments

Recently, Bishkek hosted an “international” exhibition titled “Kyrgyzstan 2011″. As far as I understood, the exhibition was supposed to display goods produced by 75 Kyrgyzstani companies.  However, it turned into a temporary market in downtown Bishkek with lots of goods that have almost nothing to do with our country (except that it’s sold here). Anyways, see it for yourself below:

For some reason, the exhibition is called "International".

For some reason, the exhibition is called "International".

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Dordoi Bazaar in Pictures
Written by , Tuesday, 26 Apr, 2011 – 17:56 | 5 Comments

Starting from a small market in the outskirts of Bishkek, Dordoi has grown into a huge distribution center for chinese goods (mainly textile) almost for entire Central Asia and partially Russia.  Some estimate that around 100, 000 people are employed directly or indirectly in the market.  Today, it is surrounded by residential areas with its own mosque, cafes, shopping areas (food), parking lots etc.   (here is a google map link, if want to see the scale)

But in this post, I will not discuss anything global.  We will take a walk through a small portion of the market, but I am sure you will get the idea.

Thousands of people walk through this entrance everyday to buy and sell.

Thousands of people walk through this entrance everyday to buy and sell.

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“MegaCom” to be confiscated?
Written by , Saturday, 9 Apr, 2011 – 11:43 | 3 Comments


Translator’s note: It appears that Kyrgyzstan’s leading mobile operator MegaCom is about to be confiscated by the government, amidst an ongoing political and law enforcement scandal related to the company. Original post by neweurasia’s Malika (RUS).

As Kyrgyz parliamentarians propose to confiscate state’s leading mobile operator “MegaCom”, the scandal around its shares is still far from being resolved.

The proposal to confiscate was made by the working group, which had earlier been established to investigate the situation around the company. The initial plan was to nationalize it. However, nationalization would require repayment of lost profits and return of the shares costs. State budget clearly does not have funds for that.

The working group’s chairman Akylbek Zhaparov said that along with nationalization, the commission also proposed to take measures in finding the actual owner or a reliable customer only with necessary court procedures.

Speaking about the owner, with the Interim Government’s decree 49% of shares were nationalized last year, while the owner of the remaining 51% shares still has not been identified up until today. Some sources say that the mobile operator has links to the ex-president’s youngest son Maxim Bakiev.

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Turkey’s new financial district brings it a step closer to being a regional business hub
Written by , Wednesday, 6 Apr, 2011 – 16:54 | No Comment
A view of the site where Istanbul's new financial district will be built.

A view of the site where Istanbul's new financial district will be built.

This photo essay is likely to be especially interesting to neweurasia’s business-minded readers. Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is trying to establish Istanbul as a global financial center similar to New York, London, and Shanghai. Experts I spoke with recently explained that the city is currently a “regional diversified” global financial center. This means that it is serves the surrounding countries, such as those in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

The Turks have been trying to up their business in Central Asia. Due to the bureaucratic nature of Central Asia, it’s been slow going, but the Turks won’t be deterred. The goal of the new financial center is to attract investment to Turkey and also increase the country’s importance as a hub from where companies can spread out across the region. There are direct flights from Istanbul to numerous Central Asia cities and the Turks want to become the people that lead the way to business there.

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Pay for you mobile services online, but don’t forget about the possibility to loose your bank account money
Written by , Wednesday, 6 Apr, 2011 – 12:27 | No Comment

After last year’s closure of online payments and suspension of Paynet Beeline Uzbekistan, one of the main mobile operators of Uzbekistan, has signed up for the SMS-To’Lov (SMS-Payment) electronic payments system, TelecomPaper reports.

According to Beeline Uzbekistan, this will enable customers to use their bank accounts to make online payments, including balance control and credits loading, arranging services they need.

“Cutomers can activate and access their ccounts for free, without paying a penny as a fee,” says Rustamjon, operator at one of the branches of Beeline Uzbekistan.

The only thing that bothers me is that how long customers will enjoy freedom of using their own money from their bank accounts. Since there is no guarantee that in a couple months or years the system will be inspected by some tax-guys, and found illelgal-corrupt-money-laundering-and-blah-blah-blah.

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Expanding Russian influence in Kyrgyzstan
Written by , Friday, 1 Apr, 2011 – 9:56 | No Comment

kyr-rusCash-hungry Kyrgyz government is seeking ways to ease its budget deficit and find investments into revolution-tired economy. Kyrgyzstan decided to become member of the Customs Union by Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

The new era of economic relations between the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation has began. At least according to the statements of the Prime minister of Kyrgyzstan.
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Bishkek Mayor’s Unpopular Initiative is Freezed
Written by , Friday, 1 Apr, 2011 – 6:04 | No Comment

I have already mentioned briefly about a rising scandal around one of the largest markets in almost downtown Bishkek – Osh bazaar (Google map link).  New mayor of Bishkek, Isa Omurkulov, set out to clean the market area, which has been populated by small kiosks with little control, and free some space for construction of car roads that would go through the market area.    It was planned to remove some 800 trading spots (kiosks, tables, booths), but it did not go as smooth as the mayor thought it would. Read the full story »

No more clothes for Alay bazaar mannequins
Written by , Wednesday, 30 Mar, 2011 – 13:26 | 3 Comments

no-more-clothes-for-tashkent-mannequinsSeems like business in Tashkent experiences really difficult times. After Demir and Turkuaz, Turkish shopping and entertainment giants, had fallen, Tashkent businessmen at local markets and bazaars witnessed unlawful actions by law-enforcement and governmental executive bodies.

Zheleznyi bazar (Metal market), Yunusabad, Parkent… The list is becoming bigger week after week, if not day by day.

Today’s news on a closure of a clothes market of a popular Alaysky bazaar in a center of Tashkent added more of a negative feeling of uncertainess about what people and business owners should expect: Who’s next in our SNB-MVD-Tax Committee-Customs-Prosecutor’s Office-list? Read the full story »

Uzbek construction traditions ahead!
Written by , Tuesday, 29 Mar, 2011 – 15:59 | 3 Comments

On my way back from the Tashkent International Airport the taxi driver got pissed at the roads being temporarily closed due to the tram lines removal.

- It’s so stupid when they close the road and do nothing!
- What you mean?
- They closed this road few weeks ago and never really worked hard to get the lines removed and road fixed afterwards! They will probably wait till Independence Day and will impose it as a “fresh” project so that President would praise their hardworking! Of course, everything is for the X-day (Independence Day)!

And then he told me a funny story about Uzbek construction companies:

When Americans planned to construct a large building in the United States they approached Germans to find out how much time they would need to realize the project. Read the full story »

Making Business in CA: You Never Know
Written by , Tuesday, 29 Mar, 2011 – 12:13 | No Comment

In connection to my previous post regarding making business in Kyrgyzstan, I would like to share this video that went viral via social networks and blogs.   It’s a commercial of one of the Russian companies that offer their assistance for western businesses to enter Russian market.  They position Russian market as “you never know” market, where rules are never set in stone.  I thought that if you replaced the word  ”Russia” with “Kyrgyzstan”, “Kazakhstan” or any other CA country name, the video would still be relevant.  Enjoy!