Here's your latest issue of Really Useful Sites for the International Trade Professional. This free bi-weekly newsletter reviews useful Web sites from the Web Resources database at FITA's International Trade/ Import-Export Portal at http://fita.org, 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:

OUR FEATURED COUNTRY SITE -- REPUBLIC OF KOREA

http://www.adb.org/Korea/default.asp

Although there has been a lot of turmoil in North Korea lately, the economic outlook in South Korea has remained good. South Korea is one of the ten largest U.S. trading partners, and it has weathered many crises in the last 50 years, so it's a safe bet the country will weather this most recent storm in its region. If you'd like to research opportunities in this part of the world, go to the Asian Development Bank's profile of the Republic of Korea (http://www.adb.org/Korea/default.asp). This site is loaded with information, including economic statistics, news, business contacts, lists of partnership opportunities, cofinancing projects, and more reports than you can read in one visit.

There are many more links to South Korea at the FITA site. Go to http://fita.org/webindex, click on Regional Resources and Multi-Lateral Trading Areas in the left column, then scroll down to Asia and click on South Korea in the drop-down box. Or simply type "Korea" in the search box at http://www.fita.org.

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LARGEST FREE PUBLIC RECORDS DATABASES

http://www.searchsystems.net

Before the Internet, if you wanted to search public records you had to hike over to the local government office and page through dusty ledger books till you found what you wanted. All that's changed now. There are thousands of sites on the Web where you can search public records databases with the click of a mouse. There's a gateway to these sites at the Search Systems Largest Free Public Records Databases ( http://www.searchsystems.net/ ) page. This site has links to free public record databases around the world. You'll find links to databases that provide business information (corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, assumed business names), licensing (dentists, physicians, real estate, therapists, etc.), criminal records, sex offenders, inmates/offenders, unclaimed property, trade names/trademarks, and much more.

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MedjetAssist: PEACE OF MIND WHEN TRAVELERS NEED IT MOST

http://www.fita.org/travel/medjetdescript.htm

A medical doctor from West Virginia was on vacation with his wife in Rome recently when they had an extreme medical emergency. As MedjetAssist members, they made a collect call to the 24 hour hotline and received quick assistance.

They wrote, "My wife and I wish to express our deep appreciation for your rapid and professional response to our medical emergency in Rome. We were amazed at how you took care of the most minute detail and made it possible for us to return to medical care in the States as quickly as possible. When we tell people about our experience and how expertly you handled our return to the United States they cannot believe that this could be done so expertly and efficiently."

MedjetAssist is an annual membership program for U.S-based travelers providing air medical transportation to its members should they become hospitalized due to accident or illness virtually anywhere in the world. The program transports members, free of charge, to the hospital of their choice, most often in medically equipped and staffed jets. Click on www.fita.org/travel/medjetdescript.htm to become a MedjetAssist member now at reduced FITA rates.

MedjetAssist publishes a free brochure, "A Guide To Traveling Smart". Contact MedjetAssist directly at (800) 963-3538 to order it. Make sure to mention FITA to get the FITA discount if you enroll.

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GOOGLE LANGUAGE TOOLS

http://www.google.com/language_tools

Even though I studied French in high school, my language skills are limited. I butt up against this every day on the Web, when I see interesting sites that I can't read, because they're written in languages that are foreign to me. Now there's at least a partial solution, in Google Language Tools ( http://www.google.com/language_tools ). At this site you can search for Web sites by language and country, and when you find a site that looks interesting, you can click on "Translate this page" in the search results. The translations are not perfect, but they're good enough to give you a working knowledge of the page, and that might be enough if you're looking for sales leads or new markets for your products.

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TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL

http://www.transparency.org

Political corruption is a stumbling block to success in international business, and one thing I'd want to know before establishing trade ties in a country is the state of corruption there. You can find that out at Transparency International ( http://www.transparency.org ). Transparency International is a nonprofit organization that monitors corruption worldwide, and this site has plenty of useful information for businesspeople. There are country papers on corruption, a Bribe Payers Index, a Global Corruption Report, news, a Corruption Perceptions Index, and much more. You'll get the inside dirt on corruption here.

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Published by Federation of International Trade Associations
Copyright © 2003 Federation of International Trade Associations. All rights reserved.