Really Useful Sites For International Trade Professionals

Monday, July 23, 2001 Issue 12   VOLUME 1 ISSUE 12  

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, an excellent source for trade leads, news, events, and a link library of 7,000+ sites related to international trade.

Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to others.

My name is John McDonnell, and for years I wrote a weekly e- newsletter that profiled business-oriented Web sites. Now I'm using my Web research skills to find sites that are useful for international trade, as well as some fun sites that you'll enjoy visiting.


The Economist is one of the world's best business magazines, and I'm pleased to report they have a Web site that's full of useful information for businesspeople. One of the best parts of this site is the Economist Country Briefings page at, which has profiles of scores of countries, from Algeria to Vietnam. Here you'll find articles, economic data, political profiles, links to newspapers and government offices, and much more.


I've heard that eventually all cars will come equipped with a computer that gives you driving directions, and even tells you when you've made a wrong turn. Until that happens, geographically challenged people like me will have to rely on the Web to give us accurate directions. For U.S. driving directions, I like Mapquest at I like the way it remembers my address so I don't have to enter it each time I'm looking for directions from my house. And the directions are clear and easy to understand. For driving directions in other countries, at has maps and directions of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Switzerland, Turkey, the Ukraine, and many others.

Are your prospects part of the international trade community? If so, here's an opportunity to showcase your service or product to 50,000 subscribers of Really Useful Sites for the International Trade Professional. FITA now offers limited sponsorship opportunities to selected organizations. For information, please contact Barney Lehrer, Director of eCommerce Development at or 1-800-969-FITA extension 4.


I don't like surprises on my credit card bill, so I'll probably use this next site if I make any purchases while traveling. The Credit Card Charges Calculator at will give you an estimate of the "hidden" charges for purchases in a foreign currency -- what the credit card issuer is adding on for converting the foreign exchange and processing the transaction. This is part of the Universal Currency Converters site at, which has lots of helpful information for anyone doing international business. One page that looks particularly useful is the Personal Currency Assistant at, which opens a pop-up browser window that allows you to perform currency conversions on the spot while you surf the Web. Other calculators are at Currency Services for Business Travellers at


Banks are steadily migrating more services to the Web, and that's fine for us customers, who don't have to deal with crabby bank tellers or humorless loan officers -- we can just do our business online. And Bank Branch Online at will help you evaluate what's out there. Here you'll find tips and information about credit cards, loans, checking accounts, and many other aspects of online banking.

Published by Federation of International Trade Associations
Copyright © 2001 The Federation of International Trade Associations. All rights reserved.
Are there topics you'd like to see covered in FITA'S Really Useful Sites? Send suggestions, ideas, or comments to editor John McDonnell at =================================================================
This newsletter is distributed by the Federation of International Trade Associations (FITA) for the benefit of the worldwide international trade community. If you have a question regarding this service, please contact FITA by email at