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It has long been thought that Belarus needs its own Cherkizovsky Market

New rules for market traders

It has long been thought that Belarus needs its own Cherkizovsky Market. The work of many entrepreneurs has been on hold for the last few months, but with the signing of Presidential Decree #334 it became clear that there will be a large multifunctional centre, which will help individual entrepreneurs. We were interested to hear how the market stallholders received this news.

Establishment of a wholesale mega-market is close at hand

The President has recently signed a Decree about the creation of a large multimodal industrial-logistical centre. It will be a wholesale hypermarket, promised long ago to individual entrepreneurs. The market will sell clothes, footwear and other goods and could be comparable to the famous Moscow Cherkizovsky Market. There have been no changes to the market for the last 25 years. Sellers have taken their trucks to neighbouring Russia, where they buy cheap Chinese goods often of questionable quality without paperwork and then sell them back in the homeland at very high prices. This is not the first time that the state and business unions have tried to bring entrepreneurship to a new level. Now experts believe our own ‘Cherkizon’ will help small and medium sized businesses to gain a credible face.

It’s a year since Alexander Lukashenko set the goal of creating a platform where businessmen could buy their wholesale goods. It is expected that the goods will arrive directly from China or Russia, working conditions will become standardised and more transparent. It is a question of creating equal conditions for the production and sale of goods. In the future, the centre should become the place for individual businessmen to buy goods that are not produced in the country. According to the Director of the Business Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers (named after M.S. Kuniavsky), Zhanna Tarasevich, the new wholesale market will be a useful starting point for new businesses.

The Director of the Analytical Centre of the Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship, Anatoly Zmitrovich, points out that 15-20 years ago in the mid-1990s, there was an opportunity to organise a large wholesale centre at the Dinamo Stadium. He considers however, that for entrepreneurs who already have well-developed trading channels and communications, the move to new premises will be not so simple. “We definitely need such a place but it must not be a repeat of the free customs warehouses of cars in Zhdanovichi; this was planned as an alternative to the spontaneous market of drivers ferrying vehicles. It ended sadly in closure. I hope, that the Belarusian ‘Cherkizon’ will not suffer the same fate,” Anatoly cautioned, “If the aim of the centre is to standardise the trade that goes on there, we should be discussing now all the details with the traders such as: working conditions, deliveries and certifications needed.

The traders are aware that a new centre is the right decision; they only regret that they have so little time before its opening. Moreover, the initiative of the Department of Financial Investigations of State Control Committee regarding criminal liability for not submitting accounting documents, has become an unexpected and unpleasant surprise for the entrepreneurs. According to the member of the Council of Businessmen of the Trading House Zhdanovichi, Oleg Korol, small businesses are excited at the possibilities on offer with the construction of a large structure such as this. The only thing that the traders want now is the project to be completed as soon as possible.

By Galina Kovalevskaya
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