FITA
 
 
  Wednesday, September 28, 2005 Issue 120 Volume 5 Number 20  
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IN THIS ISSUE:
A CLARIFICATION
RUSSIA -- OUR FEATURED COUNTRY
CUSTOMS RULINGS ONLINE SEARCH SYSTEM
GLOBAL WIDGETS
WEB FREE LOOKUPS
FITA CAREER HEADQUARTERS - FEATURED JOB - VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

Hello International Traders!

In this issue, I have a site that will help you do the research to increase your business in the Russian market. I've also got a link to a site with U.S. Customs Rulings, so you can stay abreast of that agency's decisions. Want to customize your Web browser's startup page? I have a site that will help you put all the information you need on your browser. Finally, I have a site with free demographic information about any community in the U.S.

And don't forget -- if you'd like more information about international trade, go to FITA's Really Useful Links ( http://fita.org/webindex/index.html ), which has a link library of more than 8,000 sites related to international trade.

A CLARIFICATION

In the last issue I profiled India, and I said it was the world's 4th largest economy. An alert subscriber pointed out that India's economy is ranked 12th. That got me thinking, so I did some research and found that there's more than one way to rank a country's economy. There's some information on this at the World Bank's "Quick Reference Tables" ( http://www.worldbank.org/data/quickreference/quickref.html ), which does country rankings.

Basically, the World Bank is saying that the relative size of economies depends on the specific indicator plus the method used to convert local currencies to U.S. dollars. For instance, if you look at Gross Domestic Product (GDP), you should know that it's measured in current U.S. dollars at annual market exchange rates, in which case the World Bank rates India as the 10th largest economy. If you look at the World Bank's own "Atlas" method, rankings are determined by a combination of Gross Domestic Product plus the net flows income such as rents, profits, and labor income from abroad. The Atlas method smoothes exchange rate fluctuations by using a three year moving average, price-adjusted conversion factor. Using the Atlas method, India is ranked as the 11th largest economy. One other method used by the World Bank for ranking is Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), where India IS indeed ranked as 4th.



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RUSSIA -- OUR FEATURED COUNTRY

Although Russia has gone through much turbulence since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the country has had some encouraging economic news in recent years. Russia has had five years in a row of economic growth, averaging more than six percent growth annually. Exports grew to US $162 billion in 2004, while imports were at US $92 billion. That's positive news for trade, and if you want to research trade opportunities with Russia, go to the Russia Report at BISNIS ( http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/country/rusfed.cfm ). Scroll down the page and you'll find information about trade events, legal and regulatory reports, guides to doing business in Russia, industry reports, and other items of interest (e.g., Standard & Poor's ratings of Russian local and regional governments). You can click on the map to find region-specific news, reports, and links within Russia.

Another good resource is the Russia Mini Portal ( http://fita.org/countries/russiaportal.html ), one of the new features at the FITA site. The Mini Portal is a good place to start your research. There is an overview of the country, with facts about the language, currency, climate, etc., plus more specific information about the economy, Russian markets, taxes, labor market indicators, tips on doing business, and a search engine to help you find market research on the Internet. There's also a news feed with the latest Russian news.

Click on "Useful Links" and you'll find a variety of sources for market research, trade leads, business directories, logistics, government contacts, travel, financing, and lots more.

The Russia Mini Portal is one of many research gateways at the newly redesigned FITA site. To find Mini Portals for other regions or countries, just click on "Country Profiles" from within a Mini Portal, or at the FITA home page ( http://www.fita.org).

FITA's Global Trade Book Store has many excellent books about doing business in Russia. Check out From Nyet to Da: Understanding the Russians, Culture Shock!: Moscow At Your Door, and The Guide to Business Information on Russia, the Nis and the Baltic States among others. And the U.S.-Russia Business Council, The Russian-American Chamber of Commerce, U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce of New England, the Council for Trade and Economic Cooperation, the Mid-Atlantic Russia Business Council, and the Foundation for Russian-American Economic Cooperation are FITA member associations. Check out their websites for more resources about doing business with Russia.

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THE EUROPEAN BUSINESS DIRECTORY
600,000 companies in 35 countries

http://www.europages.com/

EUROPAGES is the largest European B2B directory listing over 600,000 of the most dynamic import-export companies from all business sectors in over 35 European countries. An essential tool for finding new clients, suppliers and partners: EUROPAGES is today the reference guide for European purchasing directors. The EUROPAGES online directory Europages.com is your connection to the business world!

Thousands of suppliers from throughout Europe already advertise in EUROPAGES and many of them regularly info rm us of the successes they've achieved thanks to the Directory. Click here to make your company visible to thousands of potential buyers from the core of the European trade industry.


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CUSTOMS RULINGS ONLINE SEARCH SYSTEM


There are millions of shipments of goods that come into the U.S. every day, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency oversees this hive of activity, making sure that everything is done by the book. Anyone who does a lot of trade involving the U.S. should be aware of Customs and Border Protection rulings, because they may affect your business. You can find them through the Customs Rulings Online Search System (CROSS) ( http://rulings.cbp.gov ). At this site you can search a database of more than 125,000 rulings, with more added regularly. There are some hair-raising accounts of CBP agents on the trail of drug smugglers, illegal aliens, and suspected terrorists. There are also links to the Harmonized Tariff schedule, Customs Bulletins, Informed Compliance, Code of Federal Regulations, and more.

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GLOBAL WIDGETS

When I fire up my Web browser every morning, the first thing I do is check the day's news headlines. I can do this because my startup page goes directly to a news site. I just might make a change to that system, however, because Global Widgets ( http://www.globalwidgets.com ) looks like a good place to start my day. Global Widgets calls itself a Web console, or "dashboard", which you can configure to include information you need. You can add a customized news feed, calendars, clocks, weather reports, converters (currency, weights, etc.), and more. If you need to know the news from Beijing and the weather from Duluth each day, you can have it. Just click on "Help" at the bottom of the page for a full explanation of how to use this handy site.

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WEB FREE LOOKUPS

In our recent reader survey, many of you asked for links to demographic and market research information. Web Free Lookups ( http://www.melissadata.com/Lookups/index.htm ) doesn't promote itself as a market research site, but you could definitely use it that way. This site allows you to look up information about U.S. locations for free from 30 databases. To give an example, you can type in a U.S. ZIP code and get information like: population percentages by age, race, and sex; average house price; personal income; recent home sale prices; labor statistics; climate; public school information; political campaign contributions; and that's just one database! Other databases will tell you businesses in the ZIP code by SIC code, the nearest radio and TV stations, and income tax statistics, to name just a few. You can also look up Canadian addresses. There's a daily limit on how many lookups you can do, but you can raise the limit by registering (it's free).

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FITA CAREER HEADQUARTERS - FEATURED JOB - VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

In the new 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. A featured job this week is for an International Marketing Specialist for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership in Richmond, VA. Click here to browse more than 700 other positions! And click here if you are an employer looking for uniquely qualified internationally-skilled staff.

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GIVE US FEEDBACK!
Please tell us what you think of these Really Useful Sites! Send us your comments (newsletter@fita.org) about this or past issues or to give us suggestions about future editions!

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BENEFITS FOR OUR SUBSCRIBERS
http://www.fita.org/marketplace

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Take a look!

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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."

If you'd like to see all back issues of Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals, the full list is at http://www.fita.org/useful/archives/index.html.

Published by Federation of International Trade Associations
Copyright 2005 Federation of International Trade Associations. All rights reserved.

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