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 http://fita.org, 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.

Here are the sites:



I'm your typical buttoned-down white male of European descent, and I rarely touch people in a normal business conversation. If I ever do business in Brazil, however, I'll have to get used to people touching my arm, elbow, and back, because that's an accepted part of Brazilian body language. I learned that at the Window on the World Country Profiles page at www.windowontheworldinc.com/countryprofile/index.html. This page has useful information about the customs and etiquette of many countries in the world. It's better than many of the business etiquette sites I've seen, because it's more comprehensive. It gives you details about local corporate culture, dining entertainment, gift-giving customs, how to dress, and much more. There are also tips especially for women, to help them successfully negotiate the local business scene.




Africa has 12 percent of the world's population, 54 countries, and a thousand linguistic and cultural groups. The challenges in cracking this market are great, but so are the rewards. If you want to learn more about doing business in Africa, go to Africa Business Pages at www.africa-business.com. This site has information, news, reports and analysis on the business scene in Africa, plus a directory of suppliers, agents and distributors in African markets. Click on "Business Guide" for some practical tips on how to get started.

There are lots more links to Africa at the FITA site. Go to http://fita.org/webindex/, 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 "Africa" in the pop-up window. Or simply type "Africa" in the search box at http://www.fita.org/.




Whether school is in session or not in your part of the world, this site is worth bookmarking now. Education Planet at www.educationplanet.com has a wealth of information for students, teachers, and parents (and just about everyone else). It has a database of 100,000 sites you can search, divided into easy-to-use categories. There are sites where you can find homework answers, games, puzzles, maps, statistics, lesson plans, study guides, encyclopedias, scholarship information, history timelines, and much, much more. You'll find yourself coming to this site again and again.




In days gone by, when I was stumped for the meaning of a word, I'd reach for a big fat dictionary and page through it to find a definition. Now, there are plenty of great dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs, and the like on the Web, and I can find what I need in seconds. At Search-22: Reference Search Engines at www.search-22.com/reference.html I can even take my pick of which reference site to use. Search-22 has 22 sites listed on its home page, and when you type in a keyword you can choose which one you want to search. Search-22 also has pages with search engines for other topics, including health, shopping, kids teens, and more.