Really Useful Sites For International Trade Professionals

Monday, April 16, 2001 Issue 5   VOLUME 1 ISSUE 5  

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, an excellent source for trade leads, news, events, and a link library of 7,000+ sites related to international trade.

Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to others.

My name is John McDonnell, and for years I wrote a weekly e- newsletter that profiled business-oriented Web sites. Now I'm using my Web research skills to find sites that are useful for international trade, as well as some fun sites that you'll enjoy visiting.


I've made my share of mistakes over the years, but whenever I make a particularly big one I console myself by remembering that in 1895 Lord Kelvin, a distinguished British scientist, made a whopper when he said that, "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." It took only eight years for him to get egg on his face, when the Wright brothers made their first successful flight in 1903.

If Kelvin had been right, what a different world we'd live in! Being able to get from here to there easily has changed everything, including the way we do business. Companies can now do business halfway across the globe as easily as in their own hometown. If you want to compete in today's global economy, you have to make use of modern transportation capabilities.

And now there's a gateway to transportation information on the Web. Everything from train schedules to maps to road condition reports are available at The New Jersey TIDE Center at, a site that has hundreds of links to transportation sites around the Web.

Want to see a map of the Barcelona metro system? There's a link to it here. How about a real-time traffic volume map of Athens, Greece? You'll find it here. You'll also find links to government transportation sites, professional societies, pictures of planes, trains, and automobiles, plus schedules and maps for airline, shipping, railroad, and other transportation systems around the world, and much more. The only problem I have with this site is that it uses pale blue text on a white background -- not very easy on the eyes. But aside from that, this is a great gateway to transportation resources on the Web.


Whatever you need to know about Asia, you'll probably find it at ASIACO, the Asia Search Engine at ASIACO has a searchable collection of thousands of Web sites for thirty Asian countries. Select a country, or click on the map, and you'll come to a list of categories like Business and Economy, Computers and Internet, Society and Culture, etc. Keep clicking and you'll come to a list of sites, each with a short description.


Although this site has a long name, don't let that deter you. 2000 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers at has capsule reports in PDF format on trade conditions in dozens of countries worldwide. It's mostly concerned with export barriers to U.S. goods, but the information is valuable to anyone interested in foreign trade.


If you're a weather junkie like me, you'll love My-Cast at This site actually tells you what the weather conditions are going to be in your neighborhood. Talk about micro-forecasting! Digital Cyclone, a Minnesota company, uses computer models and mapping devices to make forecasts in four-mile areas across the continential U.S. After you register with My-Cast (it's free) you just type in your ZIP code and your usual outside activities (gardening, washing your car, playing golf, etc.) and sign up for daily updates, and three-to-five day forecasts. You also can choose multiple locations: home, work, a travel or vacation destination, and more.

Published by Federation of International Trade Associations
Copyright © 2001 The Federation of International Trade Associations. All rights reserved.
Are there topics you'd like to see covered in FITA'S Really Useful Sites? Send suggestions, ideas, or comments to editor John McDonnell at
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