skip to content

Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit



Tuesday 14 June

Susanne Fehlings

Goethe University & Visiting Scholar, MIASU

Traders, Informal Trade and Markets between the Caucasus and China


Susanne Fehlings conducted ethnographic fieldwork on local bazaars in the Caucasus and in China. In her talk she will present her findings and talk about bazaar traders and businesspeople, who trade between Tbilisi in Georgia and Beijing in the PRC. She will give insights into the development of this kind of (shuttle) trade and trade connections between post-Soviet countries and China since the early 1990s, and talk about the specific networks and practices a) of contemporary Georgian traders, who travel to Beijing, and b) of Chinese businesspeople, who try to establish businesses in the Caucasus. 

Reporting from a typical trade visit of Georgian traders in Yabaolu Market in Beijing, she will discuss the role of ethnic and kinship ties in the organisation of trade, and describe how enduring transnational linkages are built among Georgian and Chinese trade partners. Then, she will look at similar forms of cooperation between Chinese (Uyghur) entrepreneurs and Georgian partners in Georgia. Thereby, she will discuss, how common economic interests, administrative obstacles, and shared social practices create a mutual understanding, and how this understanding is explained and experienced despite prejudices and occasional conflicts.  

Tuesday, 14 June, 2022 - 16:30 to 18:00
Event location: 
Mond Building Seminar Room, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RF