Wednesday, June 4, 2003 Issue 60 Volume 3 Number 12  
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:

Although Belgium is small enough to fit inside West Virginia, and its entire population is little more than half the population of New York City, this modest-sized country is an economic powerhouse. It is one of the largest U.S. trading partners (it ranked 14th in 2000), and has many opportunities for companies interested in trade. A good place to start investigating Belgian trade is Made in Belgium ( ). Scroll down to the red buttons at the bottom of the page and you'll be on your way. Click on "About Belgium", and you'll get an overview of Belgian history, politics, and the current economic climate. "Setting Up in Belgium" gives you step-by-step instructions on how to set up a business. "Belgium on the Web" gives you links to government, economic, research, and news sites about Belgium (I found very interesting). These are just a few of the resources at this site. It's the place to go to learn about this small but important country!

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



My wife and I still have an old dog-eared copy of the Michelin Guide to Paris, left over from the trip we took as youngsters 25 years ago. We've lent it out to many friends who've gone to Paris over the years, and although some of the information is dated, people still find most of it useful. Michelin is famous for providing reliable information for travelers, and now they've created a Web site, ViaMichelin ( ), that's a must-visit for anyone traveling to Europe. At this site you can get driving directions, weather reports, maps, traffic reports (currently only for Great Britain), hotel and restaurant information, tourism updates, and much more. A nifty feature: you type in your departure and destination cities, and ViaMichelin will create a complete route map, with links to hotel, restaurant, and tourist information for every step of the trip.


Do you wish you could receive exchange rates better than your bank?

FITA's new Global Payment Services is an online foreign currency exchange system. FITA's FX platform allows you to obtain real-time foreign exchange quotes and then securely book both spot and forward currency deals. The system will also allow you to conduct global payments online by managing your wire transfer payments and bank drafts. The user-friendly platform will help you conduct international business and manage your global payments by increasing transaction speed and providing you the best rates on exchange. APPLY NOW (FOR FREE!)

To ensure the highest quality service and your peace of mind this Global Payment Services is provided by Cambridge Mercantile Corporation, a leading North American foreign exchange brokerage. Cambridge has been in business for over 10 years and is currently trading currency for over 5,000 clients. Last year alone Cambridge exchanged over $10,000,000,000. It is having a partner of this caliber that makes FITA's new online global payments platform so credible and secure.

The 3 main components of FITA's Global Payment Services are:

  1. Foreign Currency Exchange
  2. Multi-Currency Accounts
  3. Global Payments

Why do companies use the Global Payment Services?

  1. To pay foreign suppliers' invoices and to quote customers in their foreign currency
  2. To manage wire transfer and bank draft payments
  3. For transferring money between accounts in different currencies
  4. For protecting their bottom line against fluctuations in exchange rates
  5. To save time and money

The Global Payment Services executes your trades instantly, manages your global payments, protects you from currency fluctuations and saves you time and money. Sign up for free today and get the best exchange rates available. To speak with an account representative or get more information contact




The former Communist countries of Europe and Asia have been modernizing at a rapid rate for the last decade, and smart businesspeople try to keep up to date with these changes. A good site for doing that is Erik Herron's Guide to Politics in East Central Europe and Eurasia ( ). I wrote about this site several years ago, but it's worth a second look, because it's been revised and updated. It's got political, cultural, and economic information for dozens of countries, from Albania to Uzbekistan. You can click on a country at the top of the page, or do a keyword search, and either way you'll get detailed information. There are hundreds of links for each country, comprising government sites, cultural organizations, economic development sites, news, statistics, and much more. Erik Herron is a professor at the University of Kansas Center for Russian and East European Studies, and he's done a fine job with this site.



Let's say you want to know what the record is for the longest ear hair (there must be somebody who'd want to know that!). There's only one place you'd go to find that kind of information -- the Guinness Book of World Records. For almost 50 years Guinness has answered questions about the longest, biggest, best, worst, and just about every other category you can think of. Their Web site, Guinness World Records ( ) has much of the information in an easy-to-use format. In categories like "Human Body", "Amazing Feats", and "Sports & Games" you'll see records that run the gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous. This is a fun site that will give you hours of enjoyment.



As part of FITA's Global Trade Shop, the FITA Web site offers the Global Trade Book Store ( ), a source of important books at huge discounts for running your international business. Featured books change often. Today's featured titles include Import/Export: How to Get Started in International Trade, Starting an Import/Export Business , and Go Global to Win: The Small Business Guide in a Shrinking World , among others. Take a look!
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

We welcome our subscribers to publish this whole issue or articles from it. But please note that all material is copyrighted by FITA and must be copied with the following attribution:

"This is copied from the newsletter Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals, a free, bi-weekly email publication of FITA - The Federation of International Trade Associations. Please feel free to subscribe to this newsletter at"

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

Powered by Xtenit