Wednesday, April 9, 2003 Issue 56 Volume 3 Number 8  
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:

I'm not a big fan of reality t.v. shows, but I did watch a little of last summer's "Survivor". I liked the setting, which was the Malaysian island of Pulau Tiga. Malaysia is an attractive destination not only for reality t.v., but also for international trade. This Southeast Asian country of 22 million people, is the 11th largest trading partner of the U.S. In the first quarter of 2001, Malaysian exports to the U.S. totaled U.S.$5.5 billion and imports were U.S.$2.7 billion. It's a good country to investigate if you're looking for trade opportunities in Asia, and here's an excellent place to start your research. ( has links to Malaysian news and information, statistics and research, travel tips, advice on business etiquette, translations of useful phrases, a glossary of international trade terms, and more. This is the Web site of a trade consulting company, but you can find plenty of useful information here without becoming a client.

There are many more links to Malaysia at the FITA site. Go to, click on Regional Resources and Multi-Lateral Trading Areas in the left column, then scroll down to Asia and click on Malaysia in the drop-down box. Or simply type "Malaysia" in the search box at



Here's one for the little guys. If you have a small or medium-sized business, the Global Information Network for SMEs ( ) is a good site to check out. Createdby Ministers of the G7 countries and members of the European Commission, this network has links to useful trade information for dozens of countries worldwide. You'll find information about local companies, contact numbers for government and local business service centers, policy information for investment and financing of SMEs, tips on starting up an SME, economic data, news, and research. No matter how small your business, you'll increase your odds of trade success with these links.


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Since a huge part of Hong Kong's economy depends on trade, you'd figure they'd know a lot about customs duties for other countries. And you'd be right. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council's page of Customs, Tariffs Import Duties ( ) has links to customs information for hundreds of countries worldwide. Here you'll find information on documentation, customs clearance time, taxes, fees charges, import and export restrictions, contacts, and lots more useful information for countries all over the world.



I'm all for holidays; I think any day that gives us an excuse to celebrate is a good thing. There are thousands of holidays worldwide, and you can find a listing of them at Earth Calendar ( ). This handy site lets you search for holidays by country, date, and religion, and it's an effective tool for planning your business and personal trips (after all, you don't want to schedule a trip during a national holiday, when all the businesses will be closed). There's also a chart that shows the phases of the moon and eclipses for the year, although that may only be of interest to sea captains and moon worshippers. All in all, though, this is a worthwhile site.


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Published by Federation of International Trade Associations
Copyright © 2003 Federation of International Trade Associations. All rights reserved.


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