Really Useful Sites For International Trade Professionals

Monday, November 26, 2001 Issue 21   VOLUME 1 ISSUE 21  

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.


As parents of small children my wife and I don't get out much, and when we do, I usually complain about the price we're paying for a night on the town. But things could be worse -- I could live in Tokyo, where it would cost me almost $100 to see a movie (that includes the cost of a babysitter, and a cup of coffee, but not gas or parking). I learned this from the Finfacts Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2001 at This is a page at the Finfacts Irish Finance and Business Portal, and it's fascinating. The survey shows that of the 25 most expensive cities in the world, 15 are in Asia, including 11 of the top 12. Guess I'll have to bring lots of cash if I ever take a trip East.


And if I visit a city, I'll get the lowdown on it from City Guides and Hotels Worldwide at This site has detailed and informative guides to over 140 of the world's most popular cities. You'll also find Internet hotel discounts, maps of the city and area, city pictures, weather and climate information, attractions and restaurants, and travel tips.

For more travel resources, go to the FITA Business Travel Hub at or go to FITA's International Trade Web Resources at and click on "Business Travel Guide" in the left column, then click on "Travel Information and Links".

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.


If you're interested in global business, you can't ignore Latin America. This section of the world, which comprises more than 35 countries and is home to better than 450 million people, represents an important market for many global businesses. One of the best Web gateways to Latin America is LANIC (the Latin American Network Information Center) at, a Web site from the University of Texas at Austin.

You can search for information in several ways at LANIC. If you're looking for information about a specific country, you can click on Countries on the home page. Then, by clicking on, say, "Brazil", you get a comprehensive list of Web sites relating to Brazil -- everything from government information, to travel resources, to online magazines and newspapers about Brazil, to demographic databases, economic studies, and more. If you're looking for information about a subject, LANIC's home page also has a Subject Directory with listings like Economy, Government, Media, and Science, to name a few.


I'm one of those people who is metrically-challenged. I can hold my own with concepts like inches, feet, quarts, gallons and the like, but ask me about milligrams, kilometers, or metric tons, and I'm lost.

There's a site for people like me. It's called megaConverter at, and it converts inches into millimeters, pounds into kilograms, and does lots of other calculations in a matter of seconds. One way to use megaConverter is to put your cursor on the gray dial and move it clockwise (without clicking), until you find a category ("Engineering", "Finance", "Shoe Size", etc.) in the drop-down box that you're interested in. Then you click on the category and you'll be presented with an easy-to-use "converter" that will give you your answers.

There are other great utilities at this site, too. There's megaCalculator, which is a powerful scientific calculator capable of practically any common calculator function and many uncommon geometric and algebraic functions. There's also megaResource, which is a collection of interesting items like a database of jokes, a utility for creating new colors for your Web pages, and a spreadsheet that will help you convert ancient, foreign and obsolete measures like cubits and shekels into modern equivalents.

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