Hello International Traders!|
John McDonnell here, with your latest issue of Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals. In this issue I profile Switzerland, a small country with big potential for international trade. I've also got a site that makes it easy and profitable to get started in exporting. If you're affected by the world energy situation -- and who isn't? -- check out the site I found that has reports on world energy hotspots. Finally, I have a site that makes searching with Google even faster and more efficient.
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.
Our Featured Country
A reader wrote to ask if I would profile Switzerland, and since it's been three years since the last time I wrote about this lovely Alpine country, I thought this would be a good time to do another profile. Switzerland is certainly worth a look if you're an international trader, because it's a prosperous, stable modern economy with low unemployment and a per capita GDP that is actually larger than its big Western European neighbors. The Swiss per capita income is one of the highest in the world.
If this sounds good to you, you'll want to visit The Country Commercial Guide to Switzerland ( http://www.buyusa.gov/switzerland/en/doing_business_in_switzerland.html ), from the U.S. Commercial Service. This informative guide has all the information you need to get started doing business in the Swiss market. Sections include: Political and Economic Environment; Selling U.S. Products and Services; Leading Sectors for U.S. Export and Investment; Trade Regulations and Standards; and much more. The guide is written for U.S. companies, but no matter where you're located, you're bound to find some useful information here.
Another good resource is the Switzerland Mini Portal ( http://http://fita.org/countries/ch.html ), which is one of the new features at the FITA Web site. The Switzerland Mini Portal has an overview of the country, with facts about the language, currency, climate, etc., plus more specific information about the economy, Swiss markets, taxes, labor market indicators, tips on doing business in Switzerland, and a search engine to help you find free market research on the Internet. There's also a news feed with the latest news.
Click on "Useful Links" and you'll find a variety of sources for market research, trade leads, business directories, logistics, government contacts, travel, financing, and lots more.
The Switzerland Mini Portal is one of many research gateways at the newly redesigned FITA site. To find Mini Portals for other regions or countries, just click on "Country Profiles" from within a Mini Portal, or at the FITA home page ( http://www.fita.org ).
FITA's Global Trade Book Store has some excellent books about doing
business in India. Check out Passport Switzerland: Your Pocket Guide to Swiss Business, Customs & Etiquette and Culture Shock! Switzerland.
Tips on Exporting
If I owned a small firm that was looking to develop an export business, I'd definitely visit exportinfo.org ( http://www.exportinfo.org ). This site, created and maintained by students at the University of Washington Business School, is simple and easy to use, but has lots of practical information for small and medium-sized businesses. There are articles and tips for getting started, links to research information on industries and countries, reviews and links to trade-oriented Web sites (including FITA), and plenty of how-to information. The students have done a good job of choosing sites that have high-quality, reliable information, and this site will be a valuable tool for anyone looking to get started in exporting.
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WORLD ENERGY HOTSPOTS
The Latest Energy Info
In 1971 I had a job pumping gas, and I still remember how our customers complained bitterly when we raised the price from 31 cents a gallon to 32 cents. The world energy situation has gotten more complicated since then, and events halfway around the world can make the price of gas jump many times more than that one cent a gallon my customers complained about. If the world energy situation affects your business (and when you get right down to it, it affects every business), you'll want to visit World Energy Hotspots ( http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/World_Energy_Hotspots/Overview.html ). This Energy Information Administration site has summaries, news, and analysis about current events in countries and regions that are critical to the energy market. For more detailed information, click on "Country Analysis Briefs" and you'll find maps, background notes, and useful links.
What did we ever do before Google? I vaguely remember other search engines back in the Dark Ages, but Google has become so useful in recent years that I almost never visit its competitors. I even made it my home page, so that every time I open my Web browser I'm at the Google search box. Now I may use Simply Google ( http://www.usabilityviews.com/simply_google.htm ) instead. Simply Google is a page with search boxes that are linked to various Google search engines, for faster results. You can search for maps, news, books, bargains, scholarly articles, music, video, blogs, catalogs, computers, and much more by using the appropriate search box. What will they think of next? Well, if Google could invent a search engine that my wife could use when she misplaces her car keys, I'd be eternally grateful.
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