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 www.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 visited Mexico in 1980 and was impressed with its friendly people and vibrant culture, although the economy was not so vibrant -- there had been two devaluations of the peso in four years, and the government imposed many restrictions and tariffs on trade. These days, the story is different -- many trade restrictions have been lifted with Mexico's participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and that has helped the economy. With a ten-year average annual growth rate that is almost five times faster than Japan's, Mexico may soon overtake Japan as the second largest U.S. trading partner. The 100 million people of Mexico represent a huge market for exporters.

If you want to research opportunities in Mexico, a good place to start is the Mexico page at the University of Kansas International Business Resources Web site at www.ibrc.bschool.ukans.edu/country/northA/Mexico/mexico.htm. This page has links to chambers of commerce, guides to starting a business in Mexico, business directories, legal guides, stock market news, trade statistics, travel information, and much more.

There are lots more links to Mexico at the FITA site. Go to FITA's International Trade Web Resources at www.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, scroll down to Latin America and then select "Mexico." Or simply type "Mexico" in the search box at www.fita.org.




To succeed in international trade you need more than business savvy -- you also need a cultural IQ. That means knowing what to say and how to behave so that you make the right impression on your business partners. For instance, if I'm ever at a business meeting in Nigeria I'll make sure I don't use the "thumbs up" sign, which has a negative meaning there. I learned this from the Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands: How to do Business in Sixty Countries site at www.getcustoms.com/omnibus.html, which has a wealth of information about cultural issues in business. Some of the things you'll find here are: tips on dressing for success, a guide to making toasts in various countries, gift-giving etiquette, guidelines on greetings and terms of address, hints on when to give flowers, and much more.




In the early days of the Internet, I interviewed a business researcher who said the Net would never be a useful tool for his profession, because the information on it was too unreliable. These days you can't afford not to use the Internet in your research, because there is so much information out there, and some of it is surprisingly good. There's an excellent guide to using the Net for business research at the Industry Research Desk at www.virtualpet.com/industry. This site, created by researcher Gary Polson, has a step-by-step guide that will show you exactly how to find sources, both in print and online. He shows you information-rich sites that will give you the inside scoop on companies, industries, etc., worldwide. He also has links to the best search engines, address and phone number finders, package tracking sites, maps, and more.




Mike Paull left Seattle on May 10 for Shanghai, China. Paull's trip ended a week later with an accident that resulted in three broken ribs, a fractured collarbone and internal bleeding. Immediately following the accident, Paull, 48, was taken to the only medical care available - a hospital in Dezhou, China. Not knowing how he was going to get home to the proper medical care he so needed and desired, Paull contacted MedjetAssist.

"I joined MedjetAssist just prior to my trip," said Paull. "Once I contacted them, I was able to rest easier. They took care of everything. They monitored the medical care I was receiving in China, made all of the transportation arrangements and had me back home in Seattle in several days."

MedjetAssist is an annual membership program for U.S-based travelers providing air medical transportation to its members should they become hospitalized due to accident or illness virtually anywhere in the world. The program transports members, free of charge, to the hospital of their choice, most often in medically equipped and staffed jets. Click here (www.fita.org/travel/medjetdescript.htm) to become a MedjetAssist member now at reduced FITA rates.




I love to eat, and as a byproduct of that passion I learned to cook. I haven't had to buy a cookbook, though, because there are hundreds of great recipe sites on the Web. Here are two of them:


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Published by Federation of International Trade Associations
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