When a delegation of traders from Uzbekistan recently came to show off their wares in Tajikistan, it caused a minor sensation.
The fair held in Dushanbe was the first of its kind since independence — a fresh signal of a potential thaw between the neighboring nations that have had a generally frosty relationship since the Soviet collapse in 1991.
The goods on display at the Poytakht-90 trading house ranged from the small — everyday products like candy, fabrics, medicine and footwear — to bigger-ticket items like buses, cars, air conditioners and refrigerators. Attendees at the four-day fair, held April 17-20, were taken aback.
“Uzbekistan stunned us. Over there, they produce everything from busses to household goods. The quality of their textile production is also excellent,” economist Sharif Muhammad told EurasiaNet.org.
The fair served as a showcase for around 160 Uzbek companies. For the first three days of the event, the companies were just displaying the goods, but a frenzy of sales marked the closing day.
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