Wednesday, February 4, 2009 Issue 206 Volume 9 Number 3  
This issue sponsored by Global Sources TELL A FRIEND
Our Featured Country
Behave Correctly in Other Countries
Get Satisfaction Online
Best Online Heath Information

Hello International Traders!

John McDonnell with more useful sites to help your business.

Ukraine has been an important player in Eastern Europe for a long time, and it will continue in that role in the future. I have a site in this issue that will help you research this prosperous economy. Also, if you do business internationally, you'll want to visit the site I found with business etiquette tips for hundreds of countries. Then, too, I found a site with cutting edge technology that allows companies to answer questions from customers in a neutral setting. Finally, I have a list of the 20 most popular health Web sites, which you'll want to bookmark for future reference.

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

When it was part of the USSR Ukraine was a key player in the Soviet economy, accounting for large portions of the Soviet Union's industrial and agricultural output. These days Ukraine is going strong as an independent country, reaching a high of 7 percent in real GDP growth in 2006-07. While there may be some drop off due to the global financial crisis, Ukraine still has the tools and the natural resources to be a major player when the world economy gets back on track. If this sounds like a county you'd want to research, a good site to visit is BRAMA Gateway Ukraine ( Here you'll find a wealth of information about Ukraine, in categories like: Arts & Culture, Business, Computing & Software, Education, News & Media, Sports, Travel, and more. You'll also find the latest news headlines, a calendar of events, articles about key Ukranian issues, classifieds, shopping, message boards, and useful links.

If that's not enough, you'll also find plenty of good research at the Ukraine Mini Portal (, a feature of the FITA Web site. The Ukraine Mini Portal has an overview of Ukraine, 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 Ukraine.

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 Ukraine 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 (


Behave Correctly in Other Countries

If you do business internationally you know that cultural etiquette is at least as important as price, inventory, and other factors in business deals. Every culture has different beliefs, ideals, and ways of doing things. You need to be aware of them if you're going to work closely with people from that culture. Kwintessential Country Profiles ( is a site that's been around for years, and it has great advice about how to handle cultural differences. Just scroll down the page and click on a country, and you'll get an overview of that country, plus detailed information about etiquette topics involving meetings, forms of address, customs, greetings, gift giving, table manners, religion, dress, negotiating, business cards, and much more. There is also a page with useful phrases for some of the world's main languages.



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Get Satisfaction Online

There are millions of conversations going on each day on the Internet, and some of those conversations could involve your company or its products or services. Smart companies have realized that they have to use every tool available to stay in touch with their customers, to deliver good customer service and also to head off problems before they get broadcast over the Internet. Get Satisfaction ( is a site where companies can answer questions from customers, and it's valuable whether you're a company or one of its customers. Get Satisfaction is set up as a neutral site where customers can ask questions, make comments, or voice complaints, and companies can answer them. Customers simply search for a company (there are almost 10,000 companies who participate, and that number is growing), then type in a comment or question for the company. Actually, the first thing you can do is search the database to see if the company has already answered your question. If not, you type in your question, then come back later and see if it's been answered. Most companies will answer the question very quickly, because they know it's important not to let problems linger. This is the cutting edge of customer service on the Web, and I predict that more companies will join sites like this as time goes on. Many companies allow you to ask questions at their own sites, but a neutral site like Get Satisfaction is much more attractive to most customers, because they feel that they are in control, not the company.


Best Online Heath Information

The Internet has revolutionized medicine by making information available to everyone. Instead of depending on doctors or medical professionals to dole out information to you piecemeal, you can now go online and get detailed information about diseases, treatments, drugs, and prevention programs. There are so many health-oriented sites, however, that you may not know which one to use for your particular purpose. I recommend visiting the 20 Most Popular Health Websites ( This is a list of the most popular health sites, ranked by number of visitors. It's a good list to bookmark, because it has a selection of sites you can depend on for reliable information about almost every health issue you can think of. All the major sites are here, plus a few you may not have known about.



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