Wednesday, March 31, 2004 Issue 81 Volume 4 Number 7  

Hello international traders! In this issue I have a site that will help you research trade with a rapidly expanding economy in Southeast Asia -- Vietnam. Next, I have a portal to some of the most information-rich international affairs sites on the Web. And, did you know there are hundreds of places worldwide where you can set up videoconferences? I found a Web site with a database of these locations, and you can search it for free. Finally, I found a site where you can send text messages to cell phones with the click of a mouse.

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.


In the 30 years since the last U.S. troops left Vietnam, the country has gone through enormous changes. Its communist system has gradually given way to a more free-market economy, and Vietnam has worked to modernize itself and liberalize its trade policies. Proof that this is a new era is evident in one fact: total two-way trade between the U.S. and Vietnam rose to US $1.2 billion in the year 2000.

Vietnam has a lot of potential as a trade partner, and here's a good site to help you get started. The US-ASEAN Business Council's Vietnam page ( ) has the latest business and trade news, plus lots more. Click on "country profile", "economic indicator", "business guide" or other categories at the top of the page and you'll get detailed reports that will help you learn about Vietnam's economy, government, political situation, foreign relations, travel conditions, and more. If you click on "Important Links" you'll get links to newspapers and wire services, government agencies, and other useful sites.

There are many more links to Vietnam at the FITA site. Go to FITA's International Trade Web Resources at, click on Regional Resources then go to Asia and click on South Africa in the drop-down box. Or simply type "Vietnam" in the search box at There are some great books on trade with South Africa in the FITA Global Trade Bookstore, including Succeed in Business: Vietnam: The Essential Guide for Business and Investment, Doing Business in the New Vietnam: For Investors, Marketers, and Entrepreneurs and Passport Vietnam.



You can't trust everything you see on the Web, but if you stick to the reliable sources, you won't go wrong. A reliable source is the WWW Virtual Library, which is a series of Web sites compiled by librarians, professors, and other experts on a range of topics. International traders will find a gold mine of information at the WWW Virtual Library's International Affairs Resources site ( ). Just scroll down the page and you'll find links to hundreds of sites about international affairs. You'll see categories like: News Sources, Radio & Television Broadcasts (some available on the Web), Organizations, Government, Country Studies, Statistics, Environmental Issues, Public Health, Human Rights, International Development, Law, Foreign Policy -- and that's only a small sample of what you'll find. There's also a handy tutorial on how to do Internet research.


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When you need to communicate with business associates overseas, there are times when you need more "face time" than e-mail or a telephone call will give you. You could hop on a plane and fly over for a meeting, but that can be an expensive and time- consuming solution. How about videconferencing? This is a technology that allows you to meet face-to-face without the expense of traveling. And you don't have to buy expensive equipment to use it -- you can use one of the hundreds of public videoconferencing sites around the world. You'll find many of these sites listed at FTF's Free Public Videoconferencing Site Directory ( ). All you do is click on "Search the Directory" in the right column, then follow the directions, and you'll be able to search for sites in any city or country worldwide. The search results will give you the technical information about each site, plus contact information.



I'm not the most tech-savvy guy, but I know when something is cool. Teleflip ( ) is a Web site that lets you send text messages to a cell phone from your computer. All you need is the cell phone number of the person you want to contact, and you can send a message as easy as writing an e-mail. I tried it with my teenage daughter, who's always on her cell phone, and it worked like a charm. In addition,she was able to send a reply, which came to me as an e- mail. For those times when you need to send a text message to a cell phone user, Teleflip is the way to go.


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