Wednesday, June 25, 2008 Issue 190 Volume 8 Number 13  
This issue sponsored by Euromoney Seminars

Our Featured Country
Data You Can Use
Airfare Bargains
Associate Director, Van Andel Global Trade Center

Hello International Traders!

John McDonnell with more sites to help you research markets for international trade.

Singapore has a thriving, trade-oriented economy that's growing steadily. I have a site in this issue that will give you all the information you need to get a foothold in this fertile market. Also, read my profile of PIERS -- one of a series I'll be doing about online databases of worldwide shipping information. Finally, I have a site where you can find the cheapest airfares for U.S. flights -- a big consideration when you plan your summer travel.

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

Our Featured Country

Two years ago when I wrote about Singapore it was 17th in the world for imports and exports. Now it's moved up to 11th place for imports, and tenth place for exports. Singapore is a success story by any measure, with a per capita GDP equal to that of the four largest Western European countries. It's a trade-oriented, free-market economy, and has averaged seven percent real GDP growth in each of the last three years. If you don't have a presence in Singapore already you should probably look into it. Here's a great site to start your research: International Enterprise Singapore ( IE Singapore is a Singapore government site for the promotion of trade, and it has lots of useful features. There are market reports, country profiles, statistics, trade events, news, a database of trade leads, assistance for exporters, information about Singapore's Free Trade Agreements, a list of top Singapore importers & exporters, explanations of trade rules & regulations, and much more. There are links to other Singapore government sites, and although you must register to use them, the registration is free.

You'll also find plenty of good research at the Singapore Mini Portal ( ), a feature of the FITA Web site. The Singapore Mini Portal has an overview of Singapore, with facts about the language, currency, climate, etc., plus more specific information about the economy, markets, taxes, labor market indicators, and tips on doing business in Singapore.

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 Singapore Mini Portal is one of many research gateways at the 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 ( ).

The Singapore America Business Association is a FITA member association. Check out their website for more resources about doing business with Singapore.


Data You Can Use

Getting accurate shipping data is vital to any business that does international trade, but where do you go to get this data? In the next several issues I'll be profiling Web sites that sell this kind of information. Here is the first in the series.

Every day there are thousands of shipments that come into or go out of U.S. ports. The information about these shipments is valuable to businesspeople, because with it they can get an idea of what their competitors and customers are buying or selling. You can get the raw data about these shipments from the U.S. government, but it's based on ship manifests and bills of lading, which are not always accurate. That's where PIERS Global Intelligence Solutions (http:// comes in. PIERS has specialized in enhancing and packaging this kind of information for 30 years, and they know the difference between data and competitive intelligence.

PIERS adds value to the raw data by using reporters at 48 U.S. ports who compare customs information against shippers' documents. These professionals use their experience and industry expertise to verify the records, and they translate it all into information you can use. When I tried the PIERS service, I was impressed at the amount of information available. I searched the Trade Profiles part of their site, and I found it remarkably easy to navigate. You just type in a company name, or D&B DUNS® number, and you can get a detailed listing of its recent imports and exports, by country, port, and commodity. You'll see the value in dollars, the number of shipments, and the volume. You get a capsule profile of the company, with contact information and email access to key players, plus its top five commodities, and its biggest trading partners. You can also get lists of companies by the products they trade, the countries they trade with, the company's volume of trade, and geographic location. You can save your search results, print them out, or e-mail them. The U.S. Trade Profiles are just one part of the PIERS catalogue. There are also trade databases for China, India, Mexico, and South America, as well as various other reports and databases about different aspects of world trade. PIERS has subscription plans, as well as a "pay-as- you-go" option. This service is definitely worth a try if you need accurate shipping information in a form you can use.


September 17th & 18th, 2008 Sandton Sun and Towers, Johannesburg, South Africa

Africa has always been a place to do high-margin trade finance business. However, with commodity prices so high and demand rife around the world, Africa is receiving more attention from the industry than ever before. Deals are becoming bankable that were not just a year ago. This means a flurry of activity across many countries and a multitude of commodities. Moreover, the global liquidity shortage means it is time for countercyclical products like trade, structured commodity and export finance to come to the fore.

The Structured Trade and Export Finance in Africa Conference looks at the opportunities the current climate is creating, and the challenges still holding the industry back. This is an international event attended by the senior decision-makers of the industry. This includes exporters, importers, traders, international financiers, local banks, agencies, insurers and lawyers.

The pan-African event for the commodity, trade and export finance industry!

For registration and more information:

Call: +44 (0)20 7779 8999


Airfare Bargains

One thing that the Internet has been really good at is allowing consumers to find the lowest prices on various goods and services. ( ) is a good example of this. This is a no-frills site that searches U.S. airlines to find the lowest airfares. You just type in your departure and arrival times, dates, and cities, and will come up with a list of flights, with the cheapest one highlighted. I was amazed at how many options it gave me when I tried it. There were flights listed from half a dozen airlines, and they were lower in price than I would have thought. can also help you find deals on hotels, car rentals, and cruises. It's a good site to add to your arsenal of travel-related sites, and it's definitely worth a visit the next time you're planning a trip.


Associate Director, Van Andel Global Trade Center

In the 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 Associate Director for the Van Andel Global Trade Center in Grand Rapids, MI. Click here to browse more than 700 other positions!

Employers - Click here to advertise your job openings on FITA's Career HQ.

Let the jobs come to you! Employers are looking for people with international skills. Post your resume TODAY and reap the rewards of the FITA Career HQ! And with a FITA Career HQ job agent, you can decide what kind of job you are looking for and let the system do the searching for you. Simply set up specific search parameters in a Job Agent, and whenever a job is posted that matches your criteria, you'll be notified automatically via email. It's that easy!

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