IN THIS ISSUE:

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I'd like to say "Happy New Year," to all of my readers who follow the Julian calendar. No matter what calendar you follow, however, you'll find plenty of useful information in this week's issue of Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals. In this issue I profile Thailand, a country with a resurgent economy and lots of opportunities for trade. Also, I have a link to a Global Gateway that you'll want to bookmark for all your international research. Are you in compliance with all the legal requirements for your business? I have a link that will help you with that issue. Finally, I have a site that will show you where the journalists go to do their Web searching -- and you can too!

If you'd like more information about international trade, go to FITA's International Trade/ Import-Export Portal ( http://fita.org ), an excellent source for trade leads, news, events, and a link library of 7,000 sites related to international trade.

THAILAND -- OUR FEATURED COUNTRY SITE

http://www.us-asean.org/thailand.asp

What Asian country had the world's fastest growing economy from 1985 to 1995? Japan? Wrong. China? Wrong again. It was Thailand. While Thailand suffered from the Asian economic crisis in the late '90s, this industrious country has been well on its way to recovery in the last few years. The Thai economy has one of the largest automotive industries in Asia and is growing in food processing, electronics, seafood, apparel and leather production. In 2001, American firms exported nearly $6 billion in products and services to Thailand, which is America's 23rd largest export market.

If you'd like to investigate trade opportunities with Thailand, here's a good site for you. The Thailand page of the US-ASEAN Business Council ( http://www.us-asean.org/thailand.asp ) has links to many useful resources, including Thai government agencies, news, economic reports, U.S. government trade agencies, financial data, a calendar of trade events, and more.

FITA's Global Trade Book Store offers an extensive collection of books about doing business in Asia. Click here for the Asia Global Trade Book Store. Among the books are Doing Business With Thailand, Passport Thailand: Your Pocket Guide to Thai Business, Customs and Etiquette, Doing Business in East Asia: A Practical Guide to China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. There are many more links to Thailand at the FITA site. Go to the FITA International Trade Web Resources (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 Thailand in the drop-down box. Or simply type "Thailand" in the search box at http://www.fita.org.

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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS GLOBAL GATEWAY

http://international.loc.gov/intldl/intldlhome.html

The most efficient way to search the Web is to find a "portal" that gives you access to the subject you're interested in. FITA has a great portal for international trade at www.fita.org. Another very good portal for international research is the U.S. Library of Congress Global Gateway: World Culture & Resources ( http://international.loc.gov/intldl/intldlhome.html ). This page has links to hundreds of resources from the renowned Library of Congress that will help you learn about countries and cultures. There are: detailed country studies prepared by experts; research guides & databases; multimedia exhibitions from the Library's collection; videos you can view on your desktop; historical materials; and much more.

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HONG KONG'S FREE TRADE DEAL (CEPA)

http://www.tdctrade.com/cepa

CEPA stands for Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement. It is a free trade deal, operating from 1 January 2004, between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. It covers trade in goods and services, and gives you a 3 to 5 year head start over China's WTO commitments. Cepa makes it easier and faster for Hong Kong-based service providers, of any nationality, to work in China. Under the agreement, all tariffs between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland on 273 product categories have been removed. Overseas companies can also benefit from Cepa and access to China market easier by partnering with Hong Kong manufacturers, traders and service companies. Now you can get all the information you need on tdctrade.com.

The tdctrade.com Cepa section covers:

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THIRTEEN COMMANDMENTS OF EXPORT/IMPORT COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS

http://www.exportimportlaw.com/new/library/13_Commandments.doc.pdf

Legal compliance is like brushing your teeth every day: easy to forget, but it can cause pain down the road if you neglect it too long. There are more and more compliance issues involving international trade, and that's why you should visit The Thirteen Commandments of Export/Import Compliance Programs ( http://www.exportimportlaw.com/new/library/13_Commandments.doc.pdf - requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view ). This easy-to-digest document has some important tips to help you comply with legal requirements and avoid the pain that comes when a government agency starts asking questions and you don't have the right answers. The examples apply to U.S. compliance issues, but the tips work as well for dealing with foreign trade.

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WEB TIPS AT POYNTER ONLINE

http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=32&aid=57548

Most of our readers are not journalists, but there are times when they need to search for information the same way a journalist roots out the facts behind a story. That's why the Web Tips Page at Poynter Online ( http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=32&aid=57548 ) is so useful. This page is chock full of links to sites where you can find valuable information. There's a guide to finding personal information on the Web; a list of PC Magazine's 101 Most Incredibly Useful Sites; the best reference sites for journalists; court data online; and lots of other tips, many sent in by visitors to this site.

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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."

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This newsletter conforms to the requirements of the 'CAN-SPAM Act of 2003' and was sent to you by the Federation of International Trade Associations, 1900 Campus Commons Drive, Suite 340, Reston, VA 20191, USA.
If you do not wish to receive ongoing communications via e-mail from FITA, please click here.

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Copyright © 2004 Federation of International Trade Associations. All rights reserved.

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