FITA
 
 
  Wednesday, May 3, 2006 Issue 135 Volume 6 Number 9  
This issue sponsored by PIERS MARKET TIPS and TDCTRADE.COM TELL A FRIEND
IN THIS ISSUE:
• BELGIUM -- OUR FEATURED COUNTRY
• UK FOREIGN & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE COUNTRY PROFILES
• PASSPORTSUPPORT.COM
• FITA CAREER HEADQUARTERS - FEATURED JOB - ELECTRONICS ENGINEER - INTERNATIONAL SALES
• AIRLINE QUALITY RATING

Hello International Traders!

Belgium is a small country with a big trade presence, and if you want to make a splash there I've got a site that will help you. Also, I found a site that lets you store copies of your valuable documents before you travel -- so you're protected if you lose anything on your trip. Taking a flight soon? Check out your airline's quality rating at the site I review in this issue. Finally, I have a site from the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office with cutting edge research about countries around the world.

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.

BELGIUM -- OUR FEATURED COUNTRY

There are 148 countries in the world larger than Belgium, but only 13 of them spent more money on imports in 2005. Belgium may be a small country, but it's a big player in the international trade game. It's a modern, technologically advanced country with an excellent transport network and a high standard of living.

If you want to learn more about trade with Belgium, a good site to visit is the U.S. Government's Export Portal ( http://www.export.gov ). Click on "Find Country Information" in the right column, where you'll find two options for information about Belgium. Click on "Trade Information Center Country Database", then click on Western Europe, then Belgium, and you'll find lots of documents about customs regulations, taxation, Belgian contacts, laws & procedures, general marketing information, and other items. If you click on "BuyUSA.gov Country Websites" you'll find information about doing business in Belgium, market research, trade events, and lots more.

Another good resource is the Belgium Mini Portal ( http://fita.org/countries/belgium.html), one of the new features at the FITA site. The Mini Portal is a good place to start your research. There is information about the language, currency, climate, etc., plus more specific information about the economy, Belgian 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 headlines from Belgium.

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 Belgium 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 some excellent books about doing business in the Belgium. Check out Culture Shock! Belgium: A Guide to Customs & Etiquette and Culture Smart! Belgium: A Quick Guide to Customs & Etiquette. And the Belgian-American Chamber of Commerce in the US and the Belgian American Society of New England are FITA member associations. Check out their websites for more resources about doing business with Belgium.

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UK FOREIGN & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE COUNTRY PROFILES

I'm always looking for sites with good country research, and this week I found one from the British government. The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office Country Profiles ( http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename= OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1007029394365 ) is a page where you can get high quality research about countries worldwide. Just click on a region of the world map, then on the country you're interested in, and you'll get a detailed profile. These profiles have lots of information about the population, economy, political life, history, and other aspects of each country, but the best thing is there are links within each article that take you to other sites with useful information. In particular, there are links to profiles from the UK Trade & Investment Office, which have market research and other trade- related data.

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A MARKET TIP FROM PIERS
http://www.piers.com/registermarkettips.asp?product=6


Tropical timber is covered by new treaty ...

The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), whose 59 members represent 80% of the world’s tropical forests and 90% of the US$10-billion annual trade in tropical timber, has reached agreement on a new treaty aimed at the conservation, sustainable development and increasing trade of tropical forest resources. From logs and sawn wood to veneers and parquet strips to finished doors and furniture, timber exports are the key to economic growth for countries in the tropics of Asia, Africa, and South America. The pact is not a conventional commodity agreement. The ITTO is sensitive to environmentalists’ concerns ... and gives equal attention to sustainable development and legal harvesting. Under the agreement, consuming nations will fund projects to improve the competitiveness of wood products. The U.S. is a top consumer of tropical timber and wood products such as furniture – and PIERS trade data is the most current and complete source for detailed information on waterborne shipments of these imports.

To keep track the international events that can affect your business, subscribe to PIERS Market Tips at http://www.piers.com/registermarkettips.asp?product=6. To learn more about PIERS, visit us at www.piers.com

FITA Users are invited to try new Trade Profiles Pay-Per-View at 10% off. Visit www.piers.com to look-up Profiles on the top 300,000 trading companies in PIERS database. Use your discount code PPVFITA06 at the checkout as often as you like until June 30th.


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PASSPORTSUPPORT.COM

Every few years my wife or I will lose a credit or debit card, driver's license, or some other valuable card. Reporting the lost card, cancelling accounts, and getting a new card sent out to us is a hassle, but it's not nearly as bad as it would be if we were overseas on a trip. PassportSupport.com ( http://www.passportsupport.com ) is designed to help travelers with just those types of problems. For a modest fee PassportSupport.com will let you store scanned images of your important documents, such as credit cards (front and back), driver's license, travelers checks, visas and passports. That way, in case of loss or theft you can quickly access phone numbers to cancel or get duplicates. You can store up to 20 MB for $11 per year. This site will save you time and trouble if you lose an important document while you're traveling.

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FITA CAREER HEADQUARTERS - FEATURED JOB - ELECTRONICS ENGINEER - INTERNATIONAL SALES

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. Featured job this week is for an Electronics Engineer - International Sales for Inter-Technical(ITG), a small and growing international passive electronic components company located 25 miles north of New York City. Click here to browse more than 700 other positions! Employers - Click here to advertise your job openings on FITA's Career HQ.

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NEW TDCTRADE.COM - CONNECTS BUSINESS TO OPPORTUNITIES IN EVERY WAY!
http://www.tdctrade.com

tdctrade.com, the ultimate trade promotion website, provides premier information and online trading platform to empower your business in the world of global trade!
The website is redesigned with six key services include:

  • Sourcing:
    The online trading platform that connects quality buyers and suppliers with global trading opportunities

  • Hong Kong Trade Events:
    Gives you the latest update on world-class trade events in Hong Kong

  • Worldwide Trade Events:
    Provides you the latest update on world-class trade events in all other parts of the world

  • Market Intelligence:
    Gets you all the latest market news and insightful analysis on global trade regulations and opportunities, especially those affecting the Hong Kong economy and China trade

  • Industry Focus:
    Timely update on trends affecting your industry that power your business

  • Small Business Resources:
    Provides one-stop service including the most updated market information, topical seminars, tips and online tools to facilitate your business operations

Enter "Surf-To-Win" Lucky Draw now!
Simply surf the virtual tour and enter into the lucky draw to WIN US$1,000 Amazon.com cash coupon!

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Hong Kong Trade Development Council
http://www.tdctrade.com


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AIRLINE QUALITY RATING

Before you book your next flight, visit this site. Airline Quality Rating ( http://aqr.aero ) ranks U.S. airlines by several measures of quality. College professors Brent Bowen and Dean Headley have researched public records to compile rankings based on things like lost baggage reports, on-time performance, customer complaints and other parameters, and they give the airlines a score. There's a 62 page report you can download which backs up their rankings, and an Airline Quality Report Card, which ranks the airlines as far back as 1991. This is a site to bookmark for people who use the airlines a lot.

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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!

ADVERTISING
"Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals" and the FITA website offer unique opportunities for advertisers to reach a targeted international market of people involved in international trade. Click here for information about advertising programs and rates.

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

FITA offers our subscribers many benefits. Go to the "Global Trade Shop" for services that are of great value. For example:

Take a look!

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