Wednesday, June 18, 2003 Issue 61 Volume 3 Number 13  
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 never knew much about Australia, except that it's the birthplace of Mel Gibson, it has more kangaroos than people, and one of my faworite beers, Foster's, comes from there. But there's a lot going on in this island continent if you're interested in international trade. Australia was the fifteenth largest U.S. trading partner in 2000, and its economy has remained strong even during the global slump of the past few years. If you want to look into opportunities for trade with this southern dynamo, a good place to start is Austrade ( ). This Australian government site will help you get started if you're interested in doing business with Australian companies. You can search a database of Australian suppliers, read overviews of Australian industries, search for upcoming trade shows and events, get the facts on establishing a business in Australia, scan useful links about Australia, and much more.

Another great site is the Australian Trade Community magazine ( ). It's a monthly publication that can be downloaded at no charge and has practical articles on things like: Australian dairy exports to China, requirements of Indian markets, and the current economic climate in the Netherlands. You can also search trade leads, look for Australian companies, submit trade leads, read about Australian products, and more. If you are an importer or exporter, or are interested in becoming one then the Australian Trade Community magazine is a must read.

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



Here's a good research site I came across. It's called ( ), and it's an easy-to-use site that has a ton of useful information about countries around the world. The way you use this site is to click on a region and country at the home page, then you'll go to a page with key facts about that country. For more information, you can click a button at the top and find out the weather, maps, a visitor's guide, news, key economic indicators, business contacts, hotel and car rental information, and useful Web links. For a fee you can get detailed research reports, but there's plenty of useful information here for free.



One of the first steps in researching a foreign market is to determine if there are trade barriers that will impede you. The U.S. government prepares a report every year on foreign trade barriers, and you can find the latest one at 2003 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers ( ). This report is in Adobe PDF format (if you don't have Adobe, you can download it for free by clicking on the button at the top of the page), and it details the trade barriers for countries from the Arab League to Zimbabwe. It's a must-read for anyone doing market research.



Here's a statistic I wish I knew when I was 25: in Latvia there are five women for every four men. I learned this fact at (, a site with interesting and useful facts about the world. You can spend hours here finding out which country has the most televisions (Christmas Island), the longest life expectancy (Andorra), the most educated people (Norway), the most land per capita (Greenland), and plenty of other fun facts. The focus here is on fun facts, as opposed to, profiled above, which has business statistics. And by the way, in the interest of equality, the country with the best ratio of men to women is Qatar, which has almost two men for every woman.



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 A Basic Guide To Importing, Starting an Import/Export Business, and Start your own Import/Export Business, among others. Take a look!

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