FITA
 
 
  Wednesday, December 9, 2009 Issue 227 Volume 9 Number 24  
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IN THIS ISSUE:
• NIGERIA
Our Featured Country
• TRADEPORT
Assistance for Export
• INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR STANDARDIZATION
All You Need to Know about Standards
• RECIPE FOR EXPORT SUCCESS
Build Your Export Marketing Plan
• FITA CAREER HEADQUARTERS - FEATURED JOB
Export Compliance Officer
• U.S. COMMERCIAL SERVICE EVENTS AND WEBINARS
Resources for Going Global

Hello International Traders!

This week in Really Useful Sites: explore the Nigerian market, export help from TradePort, find out how the website of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) can be useful for you, use the FAS Online tool to help you to build your export marketing plan.

And don't forget -- if you'd like more information about international trade, go to FITA's Really Useful Links, which has a link library of more than 8,000 sites related to international trade.

NIGERIA
Our Featured Country

Nigeria is a west African country located on the Gulf of Guinea. Nigeria was a British Colony and gained its independence in 1960. As there are a large number of different ethnic groups, more than 500 languages are spoken in the country. English is the official language and is estimated to be spoken by about 50% of the population.

Ethnic, political and religious tensions threaten the stability of the country and its economic development. Nevertheless, with 137 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the largest market in Africa. GDP growth rate has averaged 6%, except during the current international economic slowdown. The IMF forecasts 2.6% growth for 2010.

The U.S. is Nigeria's largest export market at 45%. Next are India (9%), Spain (8%), France (5%) and Brazil (4%). On the import side, the United States is also the largest trading partner at 16%. Next are China (14%) and Great Britain (12%). Fossil fuels make up almost all of Nigeria’s exports. To reduce that dependence, the government has invested and implemented several programs for the improvement of agriculture. This may create some new potential business opportunities.

To learn more about incentives and business opportunities, visit TradeInvest Nigeria. Also don't forget the website of the U.S. Commercial Service in Nigeria. The site gives extensive information about the markets and business culture there. The Country Commercial Guide for Nigeria available on this website is a thorough exmination of the market, its opportunities and challenges. For practical information about importing and exporting, take a look at the website of the Nigeria Customs Office. If that's not enough, you'll also find plenty of good resources in FITA Really Useful Links. To get information on other regions or countries, just click on "Country Profiles" from the FITA home page.

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TRADEPORT
Assistance for Export

Originally created to help companies in California get involved in exporting, TradePort is a repository of free information and resources for businesses that seek to conduct international trade to and from anyplace in the U.S. Particularly interesting is the Export Tutorial, which can help any company get started in the export process. TradePort is managed by FITA member association, the Monterey Bay International Trade Association.

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INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR STANDARDIZATION
All You Need to Know about Standards

Standards for business operations, goods or services, and the variations in standards between countries, are sometimes very difficult to find or to understand. However, they are crucial to understand because they influence your customer’s buying behavior and can limit access to a market.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the worldwide authority institution for standards. It is composed of representatives from the national standards organizations of 162 countries and it publishes the text for more than 18,000 standards. The list of ISO members links to the websites of each national standards body and lists, when it exists, a direct link to each of the countries’ standards web catalogue.

The ISO website is the most extensive and user-friendly website about standards on the internet. Many of the resources on the website are free and directly downloadable online. For example, you can search through summaries of the 18,000 standards. An online catalogue gives you access to all International standards classified by topics. Each topic is displayed also via RSS flows that will keep you informed of new standards. The ISO Concept Database is a new database that allows you to search through the standards using specific terms or concepts rather than exact words. Also take a look at the tutorial about Why Standards Matter for Consumers. And use the “ISO Cafe” to find easy access to the most commonly requested information about the use of standards in international business.

And while you are researching standards, take a look at the ISO/IEC Information Centre, a portal to the main information given on various pages of the WTO, ISO and IEC Web sites as they relate to standards and international trade. Of particular interest is the text of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, a WTO agreement that ensures that technical regulations, voluntary standards and conformity assessment procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.

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RECIPE FOR EXPORT SUCCESS
Build Your Export Marketing Plan

The Foreign Agricultural Service of the United States Department of Agriculture is the agriculture trade promotion agency of the U.S. government. In addition to extensive information about overseas markets for U.S. agriculture products, the website offers the FAS Export Planning Application, a tutorial to help companies in any industry to build an export marketing plan. It will help you to find the secrets for your export success by telling you how to develop a well-thought-out strategy that prepares your company, your product, and your marketing efforts for export. Take a look!

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FITA CAREER HEADQUARTERS - FEATURED JOB
Export Compliance Officer

In the 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. Featured this week is a listing for an Export Compliance Officer for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Click here to browse more than 700 other positions!

Employers - Click here to advertise your job openings on FITA's Career HQ.

Let the jobs come to you! Employers are looking for people with international skills. Post your resume TODAY and reap the rewards of the FITA Career HQ! And with a FITA Career HQ job agent, you can decide what kind of job you are looking for and let the system do the searching for you. Simply set up specific search parameters in a Job Agent, and whenever a job is posted that matches your criteria, you'll be notified automatically via email. It's that easy!

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U.S. COMMERCIAL SERVICE EVENTS AND WEBINARS
Resources for Going Global

The U.S. Commercial Service, a division of the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, sponsors and participates in many events and webinars that help U.S. exporters sell overseas and help overseas buyers learn about U.S. exports. The Commercial Service has a searchable database of these events worldwide at http://www.export.gov/each/trade_events.asp. Below are some upcoming events:

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