Category Trade

Closer to Home: Yiwu in the UK

by Magnus Marsden While conducting research for the TRODITIES project in China, Afghanistan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine I regularly meet traders from Afghanistan who talk about their willingness to do business in the UK. During my last visit to Yiwu (January 2018) there appeared indeed to be a discernible trend among the 100 […]

From the Field: A drive through north western Afghanistan

by Magnus Marsden I am often asked what it is like to do fieldwork in Afghanistan. To give a sense of doing fieldwork in the country today, I provide an account of a two-day trip in the northwest of the country that I made in October 2017. The road connecting Mazar-e Sharif – northern Afghanistan’s […]

From the Field: Persian New Year in Yiwu and Iranian Special Tea in Karachi

by Magnus Marsden One of my most memorable evenings while conducting fieldwork in Yiwu, China in 2016 fell on 20th March, the evening of Nowruz, Persian New Year. Having put my three-year-old son to bed and waited for my wife to return from her Chinese language classes it was often a part of my fieldwork […]

China’s East Wind Blows… To Barking, London

by Magnus Marsden Magnus Marsden and Diana Ibañez Tirado anticipate the arrival of the ‘East Wind’ freight train in London from the Chinese city of Yiwu. As much as bringing Chinese-made goods to the UK, they argue, the train should also serve as a reminder of the critical role played by migrants and mobile people […]