Wednesday, April 23, 2003 Issue 57 Volume 3 Number 9  
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:

If I say, "the Netherlands" and you immediately think of tulips, dikes, and wooden shoes, think again. This country of 16 million people has a strong tradition of international trade going back centuries, and is today one of the top dozen trading countries in the world. The Netherlands ranks eighth in imports of goods and services from the U.S., making it one of America's biggest trading partners.

If you want to investigate trade opportunities with the Netherlands, a good place to look is the U.S. Commercial Service Country Commercial Guide to the Netherlands ( ). This site has everything you need to get started: detailed information on the country's political environment, economic trends, trade regulations, and investment climate, plus a schedule of trade events, business contacts, and much more.

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



As I write this, there is breaking news that the cause of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, has been identified. It's an unfortunate fact that the ease of modern air travel has meant people can spread disease around the world more rapidly than ever before. If you travel, or if you just want to stay updated on the spread of contagious diseases, go to Disease Outbreak News ( ). This site, created by the World Health Organization, gives the latest news and reports on diseases worldwide. Besides breaking news (a lot about SARS), there are reports on the response to outbreaks of disease, preparedness for chemical or biological warfare, drug resistant strains of disease, profiles of various diseases, and much more.

And here's another site with facts on SARS. Medlineplus ( ) has a whole page of links to news and analysis about the disease.


500,000 companies in 33 countries

EUROPAGES is a business directory listing 500,000 companies selected for their import-export dynamism in all business sectors in over 35 European countries. EUROPAGES is an ideal tool for finding new clients, suppliers and partners: it is a popular reference guide with European purchasing directors., your connection to the business world !

One single ad in EUROPAGES generates an average of 102 business contacts in one year. People like Peter from Denmark say, "EUROPAGES is our best investment for export." Click here to learn about how your company can be featured in EUROPAGES.



Selling your product is only half the story, when it comes to international trade. The rest is getting your product to the buyer, on time and in good condition. For that you need the services of a transportation company -- and that's where this next site comes in. The Transportation Directory ( ) has lists of companies you need to deal with to get your product from Point A to Point B. There are links to air cargo companies, freight brokers, freight forwarders, intermodal cartage, and truckers, to name just a few. There are phone and Fax numbers, and Web addresses (where available) for each listing.



There are thousands, maybe even millions, of credit cards in the world, and yet they're all the same size and thickness. My teenage daughter doesn't care about this when she's charging her latest budget-busting purchase, but I got curious about it recently, so I went to the Web site of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ( ). The ISO is the federation that oversees standards for products worldwide (including credit card thickness), to "facilitate the international exchange of goods and services". It's a good bet that the ISO affects you if you're involved in international trade. This site is a good place to find news and information about standardization issues, read up on the 13,700 standards covered by ISO, and get standards information relevant to your industry in online forums.


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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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