Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals

Monday, May 13, 2002
Issue 33

Here's your latest issue of Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals. 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.

My name is John McDonnell, and for years I've been writing about useful Web sites for businesspeople, in various publications. Now I've focused on international trade, using my Web research skills to find sites that are useful for international businesspeople, and some sites that are just plain fun for anyone.

If you'd like to search back issues of Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals, there's a search page at

Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to others.

Here they are:


When I started my first e-mail newsletter in 1994 I was tickled pink to get e-mails from subscribers all over the globe. To have a conversation with people on the other side of the world was truly amazing to me, and I still think this global reach is the most profound change the Internet has brought. Especially in international commerce. Through the Net, people from opposite ends of the globe can now transact business with the simple click of a mouse. And with trade lead bulletin boards, it's almost as easy to find customers across the world as it is to find them across the street in your hometown. There are hundreds of these bulletin boards on the Web, but here are four especially useful ones.

  • FITA Buy/Sell Exchange at This is an international, business-to-business marketplace, powered by, that provides qualified trade leads and catalog postings. When you register for paid membership you get access to a global network of affiliated sites that work together to enhance trade across borders, as well as national trade within borders.
  • BuyUSA at This site, created by the U.S. Commercial Service and IBM and co-branded and endorsed by FITA, links businesses in the U.S. with more than 20,000 qualified buyers and potential business partners around the world.
  • FITA/ALIBABA Marketplace at The FITA/Alibaba Marketplace is a partnership btween FITA and, the world's largest marketplace for global trade and the leading provider of online marketing services for importers and exporters.
  • Global Technology Network (GTN) at, a program of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). GTN lists leads for opportunities in developing countries where USAID promotes economic opportunities through U.S. foreign aid programs.

For links to most of the trade lead Web sites on the Internet, go to FITA's Trading Hub at


Another area of life the Internet has revolutionized is consumer health information. When my Dad was diagnosed with cancer eight years ago I found a handful of forums on Compuserve where I could research his illness. Now, there are hundreds of places on the Web where you can go to research medical conditions. Here are two of the better ones.

  • The Adam Health Illustrated Encyclopedia at Created by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this site has more than 5,000 articles about diseases, tests, symptoms, and injuries, along with drug information, links to medical dictionaries, online physician directories, and lots of other resources.
  •  at . Just type in a keyword at this site and you'll get tons of information about medical conditions, treatment, medications, plus doctors' answers to questions sent in by site visitors.


If you want to do business with countries in Latin America you should check out LATCO Tools of the Trade at . It's a simple page of links, but it has everything you need to get started in Latin American trade, from news, to a calendar of trade events, to advice about dealing successfully with cultural differences, to trade leads, to country information, and more.

There are lots more links to these countries at the FITA site. Go to FITA's International Trade Web Resources at, click on Regional Resources and Multi-Lateral Trading Areas in the left column or "Search by Country or Region" in the right column, and then scroll down to Latin America. Or simply type "Latin America" in the search box at


Do you need an easier, faster, less expensive way for your Business to send wire transfers and drafts outside of the U.S.? If so, FITA and Pitney Bowes have the perfect solution for you! Through Pitney Bowes International Payments, you can initiate payments on-line, over the phone and by fax into more than 50 currencies. And you can use your current business bank account. New customers get a 90 day free trial with no transaction charges on foreign currency payments. In addition, FITA newsletter subscribers receive $25 after making the first payment in a foreign currency!! To enroll or for more information, click here.


These days, whenever I want to travel, I look for a Web site where I can make my reservations. I bookmarked World Travel Net at for future use, because it's a gateway to some of the best bargains and travel information on the Internet. Search by keyword, country, city, or category including airlines, car rentals, events, hotels, and tourist boards. It also has a site of the week, travel news, tools, tips, route planner, temperature, and climate information.

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