FITA
 
 
  Wednesday, December 14, 2005 Issue 125 Volume 5 Number 25  
This issue sponsored by ConferencePlus

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IN THIS ISSUE:
• COSTA RICA -- OUR FEATURED COUNTRY
• IVR CHEAT SHEET
•  JOURNEYWOMAN
• COFACE COUNTRY RATINGS
• FITA CAREER HEADQUARTERS - FEATURED JOB - INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMPLIANCE MANAGER

Hello International Traders!

In our recent survey readers asked for more information about Costa Rica, so I found two sites that will help you generate more business with this prosperous Central American country. If you worry about the credit risk of doing business in certain countries, I have a site that shows you where the best and worst risks are. Also, I found a site with lots of useful information about travel from a woman's perspective. Finally, I have a site that lists the codes for getting around automated phone answering systems, so you can speak to a live human being.

And don't forget -- if you'd like more information about international trade, go to FITA's Really Useful Links ( http://fita.org/webindex/index.html ), which has a link library of more than 8,000 sites related to international trade.



COSTA RICA -- OUR FEATURED COUNTRY

Costa Rica has been called "the Switzerland of Central America" for its stable political and economic situation, relatively high standard of living, and low crime rate. The country has a per capita GDP that is the equivalent of Asian economies like Malaysia and Thailand, and last year had imports of US $7.8 billion and exports of US $6.1 billion. If Costa Rica ratifies the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) as expected in 2006, it will take down some of the country's trade barriers for countries participating in the agreement. If you'd like to research trade opportunities with Costa Rica, a good site to visit is the Canadian Trade Commission's Costa Rica report ( http://www.infoexport.gc.ca/ie-en/MarketProspect.jsp?cid=632&oid=12 ). Scroll down this page and you'll find links to fact sheets, market reports, import regulations, free trade agreements, Costa Rican government agencies, business contacts, articles, and more useful links.

Another good list of links is at the Latin American Network Information Center (LANIC) ( http://lanic.utexas.edu/la/ca/cr/ ) at the University of Texas. There are links here in categories like: Art & Cuture, Economy & Finance, Government, News, Search Engines, and Radio & Television, to name just a few.

You can find more information by typing "Costa Rica" in the search box at the top of the FITA ( http://www.fita.org ) main page.

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IVR CHEAT SHEET


Are there any companies left that still use human beings to answer their phones? Computers have taken over phone duties in many organizations these days, but if you still like talking to a human, here's a way to get around the computers at some large companies. IVR Cheat Sheet™ ( http://paulenglish.com/ivr/ ) has instructions on what you can do to connect to a human at various companies. In many cases, it's as simple as hitting "0" to get an operator, but some systems are more complicated, and there are valuable tips here on what to do (e.g., "Press 0 twice, ignoring error message. . ."). There are scores of companies listed here, in many industries, and the creator of the site has started a list for non U.S. companies also.

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CONFERENCEPLUS™: USING VIRTUAL MEETINGS TO REDUCE THE SALES CYCLE AND TRAVEL COSTS.
http://fita.org/marketplace/conference.html

The global economy has created unlimited possibilities to grow into new markets, work with new suppliers, and develop international relationships that benefit your organization. But there is a down side, geography. What do you do if you need to meet with a buyer in the US on Monday and your European suppliers in Rome on Tuesday? With good flight scheduling and good weather, you might make it, but is that a risk worth taking? With audio, web, and videoconferencing services, you can be sure to make both meetings so you won't slow down your project timeline - and you will save time, money, and your sanity!

For over 17 years, ConferencePlus has been helping its global clients work faster, smarter, and at lower costs. ConferencePlus offers a complete portfolio of audio, web, and videoconferencing services that can help you meet virtually to collaborate, negotiate, and close the deal. To help you get started, ConferencePlus has created a new program for "Really Useful Sites" subscribers with special introductory rates. To learn more, go to http://fita.org/marketplace/conference.html or call 1-800-930-7714 to start saving today!


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JOURNEYWOMAN

Women who want to get a female perspective on travel should visit Journeywoman ( http://www.journeywoman.com ). This magazine has lots of articles, advice, and tips on travel for women. You'll find: advice on traveling with children, personal travel anecdotes, insider information about the best shopping sites, what to wear in various countries, guides to traveling alone, medical advice, cultural tips, an e-mail directory of other female travelers, city guides, and more. Actually, with titles like "Favorite Irish B&Bs", and "Super Spain -- Six Hotels Under (US) $50", Journeywoman has plenty that male travelers will find interesting too.

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COFACE COUNTRY RATINGS


Getting paid for the product or service you deliver is the number one goal in every business, and companies that do international trade are naturally concerned with it. You can get a good idea of the political and financial risk for businesses in different countries worldwide if you go to Coface Country Ratings ( http://www.coface-usa.com/products_services/country_risk/country_risk_ratings.html ). At this site you can download two free files: a Country Risk Outlook Report; and a United States Industry Risk Outlook Report. The first report gives an overview of the payment risk for regions and countries worldwide, while the second focuses on U.S. industries. Coface, which is a company offering trade risk-management solutions, has some fee-based services available at this site, but the free reports are definitely worth a look.

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FITA CAREER HEADQUARTERS - FEATURED JOB - INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMPLIANCE MANAGER

In the new FITA Career Headquarters job seekers can now apply for jobs online and post their resume--free of charge--in an exclusive database that will be searched by hundreds of industry employers seeking employees with international degrees and/or related work experience. A featured job this week is for an International Trade Compliance Manager for a major corporation in St. Louis, MO. Click here to browse more than 700 other positions! And click here if you are an employer looking for uniquely qualified internationally-skilled staff.

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GIVE US FEEDBACK!
Please tell us what you think of these Really Useful Sites! Send us your comments (newsletter@fita.org) about this or past issues or to give us suggestions about future editions!

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BENEFITS FOR OUR SUBSCRIBERS
http://www.fita.org/marketplace

FITA offers our subscribers many benefits. Go to the "Global Trade Shop" for services that are of great value. For example:

Take a look!

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We welcome our subscribers to publish this whole issue or articles from it. But please note that all material is copyrighted by FITA and must be copied with the following attribution:

"This is copied from the newsletter Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals, a free, bi-weekly email publication of FITA - The Federation of International Trade Associations. Please feel free to subscribe to this newsletter at http://fita.org/useful."

If you'd like to see all back issues of Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals, the full list is at http://www.fita.org/useful/archives.

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