Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals Issue 46,  Volume 2 Issue 22

Tuesday, November 26, 2002 Issue 47   VOLUME 2 ISSUE 23  

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:


There was a time when trade with China was a blip on the radar screen of the U.S. economy, but that's no more. With a 20 percent annual growth rate since 1988 in the value of merchandise traded with the U.S., China is fast becoming one of America's largest trading partners. If you'd like to learn more about this growing relationship, one of the best places to go is the China WWW Virtual Library at Virtual Library sites are known for being storehouses of reliable information, and this one is no different. You'll find the most useful links for international trade in the Business & Economy section at Here are reviews and links to sites about currency conversion, foreign exchange rates, business directories, economic statistics, breaking news, political analysis, law, and much more. This is a can't miss site.

There are lots more links to China 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 go to Asia and select China in the pop-up window. Or simply type "China" in the search box at


Although there's lots of free business information on the Internet, there are times when you need more detail than a free site can provide. For occasions like this you need to use a fee- based site. One that looks promising is SkyMinder at This site claims to have data on millions of public and private companies worldwide. Here you'll find comprehensive company profiles, detailed financial information, credit information, market research, industry surveys, news, listings of executives at each company, and more. You can download your search results into dossier-style reports, and you only pay for the reports you view. There's some free information at the site -- e.g., there are capsule reports on 18,000 companies worldwide -- but for more in-depth reports you need to sign up for the fee-based service.


Has this ever happened to you? You travel overseas and you cell phone won't work? Or you rented one or bought one from a wireless company and it didn't work? Or it did work, but it was impossible to contact anyone for help? Or it worked, you could contact someone for help, but the bill showed up two months late and it didn't make any sense anyway? Want a better way to keep connected while you traveling internationally?

FITA has arranged to help international travelers who are frustrated with mobile phones that will not work overseas, with companies that provide phones that don't work as promised, with little customer support and unexplainable bills through a new relationship with Globafone at Globafone's clients range from small, dynamic businesses to large, demanding corporations to the federal government. From GSM phones from four different network operators covering 140 countries to phones for Japan, Korea, North and South America to four different brands of satellite service, no matter where you are traveling, GlobaFone has a world-class global wireless solution. With reasonable rates, flexible programs and exceptional client care, GlobaFone helps you succeed globally.


Some Web sites are hard to categorize, because they have so much more to offer than their title suggests. An example is Internet Legal Resources at, created by the William Mitchell College of Law. There are plenty of U.S. and international legal resources on this site, if that's what you're interested in, but there are also a lot of other resources here. There are links to dictionaries and encyclopedias, news headlines, company research, weather and maps, travel resources, writing guides, public records research, and search engines, to name a few.


My 20th wedding anniversary is coming up in May, and I want to surprise my wife by taking her on a trip. I'm lucky, because the Web has so many great sites for travel research and reservations. Here are two of them.

Need to make a hotel reservation fast? Go to Hootle at This site is simple and elegant. You just type in the name of a city or country, and you'll get a list of hotels to check out. Each listing has a picture, a rating, a description (sometimes with photos of the rooms), and details about the amenities included (in some cases even the model numbers of the beds). You can also check room availability, and even book your room here.

At Your-Travelsite at you can do everything -- book a flight or hotel room, reserve a car, research a city, check out cruise and golf packages, buy trip insurance, find great deals on travel, and much more.

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

If you'd like to see all back issues of Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals, the full list is at

Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to others.

   Full archives can be found at
   Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals can be searched at

Published by Federation of International Trade Associations
Copyright © 2002 Federation of International Trade Associations. All rights reserved.