Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals

Thursday, October 17, 2002 Issue 44 VOLUME 2 ISSUE 20  

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.

Here are the sites:


Note: this is the first in a series of profiles of Web sites about America's largest trading partners.

Japan is the world's second largest economy, after the U.S. Japan used to have a lot of restrictions on foreign companies, but the government has begun to relax its trade policies in response to recessionary pressures. One good site for learning about the Japanese market is at Here you'll find plenty of information to help you get started, including the latest news, economic statistics, trade contacts, travel tips, key phrases, an international trade glossary, and much more.

There are many more links to Japan 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, then scroll down to Asia and click on Japan in the drop-down box. Or simply type "Japan" in the search box at


One of the great things I love about the Web is all the Ask the Expert sites out there. At these sites you can e-mail questions to an expert, who will then answer your question and post it on the site for others to read. It's a great way to get expert advice, and to share it with others who have the same question as you. There's a page like this at the site of law firm Braumiller & Rodriguez. It's called Ask the Attorney at, and it has concise answers to questions about international trade. When I visited the topics included NAFTA certification, Incoterms, selling commissions and buying commissions, and Foreign Trade Zones, among others.


FITA and have launched a new International Buy/Sell exchange. The FITA Buy/Sell Exchange at is FITA's new business-to-business marketplace that helps your company find more business by delivering tender opportunities, RFQ's and qualified offers to buy and sell. You will have access to a global network of affiliated trade sites that work together to bring together businesses across borders. Take a look!


Things don't always go smoothly in the world of logistics. Sometimes when you ship something from Point A to Point B it goes through Points X, Y, and Z to get there. If you need to find out where a shipment is, there are Web sites that will help you do that. Here are two of them:

  • A-Z Airfreight Directory  at is just what its name suggests -- a directory of links to 45 airline cargo systems and eight express package services, where you can track your shipment.
  •  at At this site you can track packages through multiple carriers, including UPS, Fedex, Airborne, and more.


When I was a kid I had a tinny little transistor radio that pulled in maybe half a dozen local radio stations. These days I can listen to thousands of stations from all over the world on the stereo speakers of my computer. A good gateway to radio (and now televison) on the Internet is International Radio And Television Broadcasts at This is part of the WWW Virtual Library, and it's got dozens of links to sites to get you started enjoying radio and TV over the Net.

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