Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals

Wednesday, September 18, 2002
Issue 42

Here's your latest issue of Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals. This free bi-weekly newsletter reviews useful Web sites from the Web Resources database at FITA's International Trade/ Import-Export Portal at, an excellent source for trade leads, news, events, and a link library of 7,000+ sites related to international trade.

My name is John McDonnell, and for years I've been writing about useful Web sites for businesspeople, in various publications. Now I've focused on international trade, using my Web research skills to find sites that are useful for international businesspeople, and some sites that are just plain fun for anyone.

Here are the sites:


Want to plug in to hundreds of content-rich sites about business in the Far East? Check out Sources for Asia-Pacific Business Research at Here you'll find links to sites with country and company profiles, bank ratings, stock exchanges, market research, trade reports, maps, guides to doing business in the region, travel tips, and much more. I can't imagine doing business in the Asia Pacific region without visiting this site first.

There are lots more links to Asia at the FITA site. Go to FITA's International Trade Web Resources at, click on Regional Resources and Multi-Lateral Trading Areas in the left column or "Search by Country or Region" in the right column, then scroll down to Asia and click on "Asia" in the drop-down box. Or simply type "Asia" in the search box at


FITA and have launched a new International Buy/Sell exchange. The FITA Buy/Sell Exchange at is FITA's new business-to-business marketplace that helps your company find more business by delivering tender opportunities, RFQ's and qualified offers to buy and sell. You will have access to a global network of affiliated trade sites that work together to bring together businesses across borders. Take a look!


I always loved the study of geography. I used to enjoy looking at maps and imagining what life was like in other countries. If you're like me, you'll love GeographyIQ at, a site with tons of information about every country in the world. I particularly liked the ranking data, which shows where countries rank in terms of land mass, population, birth rate, imports and exports, and even categories like how many television sets are owned.

Another site with lots of information about countries worldwide is MSU Global Access at is an annotated collection of over 5,000 sites about the regions and peoples of the world. It's searchable by country, thematic area (environment, development, travel, etc.) constituency group (teachers, businesspeople, etc.), resource type (maps, news sources, study abroad programs), language, and keyword. There are also travel precautions and September 11 information links.


I've never been to Colombia, but if I ever go there I'll keep on my guard, because according to International Crime Statistics at, a site run by Interpol, I have a much greater chance of being murdered there than in the U.S. It's tricky making comparisons like this, of course, and the Interpol home page warns users of the unreliability of crime statistics because of differences in the way police departments report crime, etc., but this is still an interesting place to visit if you want to get an idea of the extent of crime in various countries. Just click on "Countries list" and then pick the country you're interested in. You need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software to view the statistics.


My favorite boss is me; I'm a self-employed writer, and I enjoy it more than any job I've ever had. However, it's not easy getting started as an entrepreneur, and I wish I had's Start-Up Kits at when I started out years ago. These kits offer industry, market, and operations information for over 40 types of businesses. The one on starting an import/export business is especially good. The site includes comments from successful entrepreneurs, suggestions for researching business opportunities and creating a business plan, and links to associations and franchises. It also features an e- mail service where you can get expert advice about every aspect of starting your own business.

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Published by Federation of International Trade Associations
Copyright 2002 The Federation of International Trade Associations. All rights reserved.