Wednesday, September 16, 2009 Issue 221 Volume 9 Number 18  
This issue sponsored by MedjetAssist. TELL A FRIEND
Our Featured Country
Global Marketplace for Fresh Products
Information about Worldwide Consumer Issues
For international Cargo Professionals
Resources for Going Global
Export and Quality Manager

Hello International Traders!

This week in Really Useful Sites: explore the South Korean market, buy fresh products online on the marketplace, keep informed about international consumer issues on and consult World Cargo News to keep informed about logistic news and events.

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

South Korea (officially the Republic of Korea) is one of the few Asian countries categorized by the IMF as an advanced economy. In terms of GDP, South Korea is 11th richest nation in the world ($727 billion estimated for 2009). Compared to other advanced economies, South Korea is one of the most populated (48 millions inhabitants) and its unemployment rate is one of the lowest (3.7%), just behind Denmark and Norway.

In 2007 the U.S. and South Korea signed a free trade agreement. It is the largest such agreement signed by the US in nearly 20 years, since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was ratified. However, the Obama Administration has requested renegotiation of some parts of the agreement. Since the US and Korea are close allies it is hoped that the agreement revisions will be agreed upon and the agreement will be sent to the U.S. Senate for ratification.

The economic crisis and the appreciation of the won have not helped sustain South Korean exports over the past 18 months. For 2009, the IMF forecasts a GDP negative growth rate of -4%. However the Korean government maintains several export promotion programs that help overseas buyers identify quality Korean exports. Two government sponsored online marketplaces are BuyKorea and Gobizkorea. And is a worldwide marketplace that is based in Korea and lists many Korean exports.

There are many opportunities to sell to the country. US exporters will find links to several in-depth market reports on the website of the U.S. Commercial Service in South Korea. And the Korea Customs Service website offers thorough information about import procedures.

In spite of increased competition from other Asian countries, South Korea remains a good target for direct investment, especially in R&D in high technology, biotech and green technologies. To learn more about investing in the country and get the latest Korean business news, visit Invest Korea (the Korean Investment Agency). If that's not enough, you'll also find plenty of good research at the South Korea Mini Portal, a feature of the FITA Web site. The Korea Mini Portal has an overview of South Korea, 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 Korea.

The Korea 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 Korea International Trade Association (KITA) is a FITA member association. Look at their website for yet more resources for doing business with South Korea.


Global Marketplace for Fresh Products

Did you know that it is possible to buy fresh, perishable products online? Go to the trading portal and buy or sell your fresh products from or to all over the world. You will also find prices, product statistics, industry news and suppliers and buyers directories. Just set up an account and get going. Most services are free!



Will you be traveling 150 miles or more away from your home, or overseas? In the unfortunate event that you are hospitalized, have you assessed medical transportation costs to a preferred or home hospital? One in 30 international travelers will require emergency care, according to The Merck Manual. As a Medjet member, if you require inpatient hospitalization while traveling within the United States or abroad, Medjet shall arrange air medical transportation or repatriation services to the hospital of your choice; wherever that may be. Most traditional health insurance plans do not cover such transports…typical travel insurance, assistance programs and platinum card benefits have a wealth of pre-existing exclusions, may require critical/life-threatening illness/injury and normally restrict transports to the nearest "adequate" hospital.

With your MedjetAssist membership you will be transported regardless of "medical necessity" with no member costs other than the discounted membership fee (for "Really Useful Sites" subscribers). There are no additional costs to worry about and no limits on the total air transportation expenses. Language barriers can make stressful situations even worse. Your membership also gives you translation assistance as well as other benefits. More information and special rates for subscribers are available at Questions? Contact Kim Park at or contact Medjet toll-free at 1-800-527-7478…reference FITA if calling for access to discounted annual rates.


Information about Worldwide Consumer Issues is one of the best places to get information about consumer trends worldwide. The Notice Board lists general worldwide messages about worldwide consumer issues. It that can also be accessed by RSS. The Member News covers topics that are more sector oriented and country specific. They also exist in RSS format.


For international Cargo Professionals

World Cargo News is an online newspaper focused on transportation and logistics. It calls itself “the world's leading resource for international cargo professionals.” The home page offers the latest industry news. A calendar of events announces upcoming tradeshows, conferences and exhibitions. On the publication pages, you will find useful reports and studies to that address specific transportation and logistics issues. And to keep informed without visiting the website regularly, subscribe to the Email alert.


Resources for Going Global

The U.S. Commercial Service, a division of the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, sponsors and participates in many events and webinars that help U.S. exporters sell overseas and help overseas buyers learn about U.S. exports. The Commercial Service has a searchable database of these events worldwide at Below are some upcoming events:


Export and Quality Manager

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 this week is a listing for an Export and Quality Manager for Magellan Industrial Trading Co. Inc. in Norwalk, CT. 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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