Hello, John McDonnell here, with your latest issue of Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals. In this issue I have a site that will give you the key to trade success in Sweden. In addition, I profile a site that will help you streamline your shipping operation. If you travel to the U.S. regularly, or you have business associates who do, you're probably affected by the U.S. State Department's Visa Waiver Program, and you should read my review of a site that gives up- to-date information about that program. Finally, I have a site that will tell you exactly how much you'll have to pay in fees if you invest in various mutual funds -- a key factor in making investment decisions.

If you'd like more information about international trade, go to FITA's International Trade/ Import-Export Portal ( ), an excellent source for trade leads, news, events, and a link library of 7,000 sites related to international trade.


If I were a company looking for international markets I'd take a look at the Land of the Midnight Sun, otherwise known as Sweden. This small but prosperous country has a high standard of living, and is so dependent on trade that exports account for 30 percent of GDP. Germany and Great Britain are Sweden's two main trading partners, but there are opportunities here for everyone.

If you're interested in entering the Swedish market, go to Sweden.SE ( This official gateway to Sweden on the Web has everything you need to get started researching Sweden. There are links to statistics, news, economic data, trade contacts, government agencies, legal information, travel & tourism tips,technology industry reports, and much more. This is the site to bookmark if you want to learn about Sweden.

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

There are some great books on trade with Sweden in the FITA Global Trade Bookstore, including the D and B Export Guide: Sweden, Sweden Investment and Business Guide and Exporting to Scandinavia.

The Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce are FITA member associations that promote trade with Sweden and have Web sites with extensive resources abouat doing business with Sweden.



Closing the sale isn't the end of the story in international trade -- you still have to get the product to the customer. Shipping is critically important, which is why a site like Schednet ( is so useful. Schednet has a large variety of tools for people who need to transport their goods, including shipping and air freight schedules, cargo tracking, a list of ports worldwide, classified ads, information about tariffs, a logistics directory, and much more.



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



Travelers from 21 countries included in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program should be aware that by next year they will need a machine- readable passport (MRP) in order to enter the U.S. without a visa. These passports have biographical information about the traveler on a computer chip, and they are tamper-proof, which is why the Department of Homeland Security and State Department are requiring them. The date for compliance with this rule has been moved back to October 26, 2004. Hovever, there are six countries whose citizens are already required to use MRPs. To find out which countries are affected, and to learn more about the MRP requirement. go to the U.S. Department of State's Visa Waiver Program (



FITA is proud to announce a new partnership with Sparkice of Beijing, China. Starting in October 2003 Sparkice will distribute a Chinese version of Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals to more than 600,000 international trade professionals throughout greater China. Click here for a sneak preview of the first issue. And click here for information about advertising to this huge market at a very low cost, including classified ads for companies seeking partners. To advertise, contact Barney Lehrer, FITA's Director of eCommerce at



If you're a Joe Average investor like me, you probably wonder from time to time if you're paying too much in fees for your mutual funds. Mutual fund fees can eat up a healthy chunk of your profits, so it's important to know just how much you're paying. Now there's a way to compare fund fees. The Mutual Fund Cost Calculator (, from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, shows you exactly what mutual funds are charging, which is will help you make better investing decisions. You'll also find a handy guide to analyzing Mutual Funds at this site.


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