Hello, John McDonnell here, with your latest issue of Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals. The featured country in this issue is Switzerland, and you'll find plenty of useful information at the two Swiss sites I profile. In addition, I look at a site with free articles from professional business advisors, one that gives helpful tips for exporting, and one that has the actual front pages of 234 newspapers from around the world.

If you'd like more information about international trade, go to 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.


I visited Switzerland as a teenager, and fell in love with the place. The snow-topped majesty of the Alps was breathtaking, but I also admired the ingenuity of the Swiss people, who could carve out a farm on a steep mountainside and make it look like the most natural setting in the world.

The Swiss have made many ingenious adaptations to their mountain environment, but they still need to import a lot of products in order to live well. That's what makes them one of the largest markets for U.S. and worldwide exporters. If you want to research business opportunities in Switzerland, here are two good sites.

Location: Switzerland ( ) is a good portal because it has information about the Swiss labor force, environment, investment climate, tax structure, quality of life, research and technology news -- everything you need to know to get started.

Swissfirms ( ), created by the Swiss Chambers of Commerce, has a database of Swiss companies that you can search by industry or company name. The database has links to each company's Web site, so you can find out more information before contacting it. You can also buy company reports, address files, and other information at this site, for a fee.

There are more useful links to Switzerland 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 Switzerland in the drop-down box. Or simply type "Switzerland" in the search box at And FITA's Global Trade Bookstore has a selection of books that are helpful in doing business with Europe. Click here for an extensive list.



Did you know there was a recent court decision in the UK as to whether a smell can be registered as a trademark? Thank goodness the courts said no to the idea, or there would have been a mad rush to trademark a range of smells (I can think of a few products that I'd compare with the smell of day old fish, but that's another story). I learned this bit of information at ( ), a site that has articles written by "professional business advisors", which means lawyers, accountants, and consultants. It's got a range of articles about legislative and regulatory matters in every region of the world, and you can read them by simply registering (it's free). You can also locate business experts by their specialty, and get details on how to contact them.



FITA's business-to-business marketplace at helps your company find more business by delivering tender opportunities, RFQ's and qualified offers to buy and sell. The FITA Buy/Sell Exchange give you access to a global network of affiliated trade sites that work together to bring together businesses across borders.

According to Tom Huynh of AAA Wholesale Distributor, " [FITA's partner powering the Buy Sell Exchange] has given us an opportunity to conduct our [giftware] business worldwide."

Click here to boost your trading with the FITA Buy/Sell Exchange, powered by



Although trade barriers are falling in many countries, and it's easier than ever to sell your products overseas, it's still more complicated than selling to your customers down the street. It takes business savvy to start a successful exporting business, and you can get some of it at Tradeport's Global Trade Tutorial ( ). This site tells you in plain language the steps you have to take, from researching markets to getting financing, and everything in between. Each article spells out exactly what you need to do, and has links to relevant Web sites.



If I want to read the front page stories in today's Irish Indedendent newspaper, I can go to the Irish Independent Web site. However, I just found a way to see what the newspaper's front page really looks like. I can go to Today's Front Pages ( ), a site that has the front pages of 234 newspapers from 32 countries. What's fun about this site is that you can look at the pictures, read the headlines, and see which stories the editors put at the top of the page. There are links to each newspaper's Web site if you want to read the front page stories (or even stories from another page). You can find the newspapers in several ways at this site -- by clicking on the actual page itself, or on a map of the world, or on an alphabetical list.



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