Wednesday, June 9, 2004 Issue 86 Volume 4 Number 12  

Hello International Traders!

In this issue I have a portal to research on the Philippines, a growing Asian market. Also, I found a site from the World Bank with thousands of research reports you can download for free. I've also got a site that will tell you all you need to know about the value added tax in Europe. Finally, I've got a site that's a tv lover's dream, with reviews and information about thousands of shows.

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.


The Philippines is a country made up of over 7,000 islands. People who live on islands know all about trade, because few islands are self-sufficient, and residents usually need to import goods onto their island to survive. Filipinos have been trading with their Asian neighbors for thousands of years, and in the 21st century their country is still a fertile market for trade.

If you'd like to explore opportunities for trade with the Philippines, go to The US-ASEAN Business Council's Philippines page ( ), Here you'll find 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 the Philippine 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 more useful links to the Philippines at the FITA site. Simply go to, then go to Asia and click on Philippines. Or, you can type "Philippines" in the search box at

There are some great books on trade with Philippines in the FITA Global Trade Bookstore, including Passport Philippines: Your Pocket Guide to Filipino Business, Customs and Etiquette, The Philippines Business Guide, and Between Two Worlds - Society, Politics, and Business in the Philippines.



There are lots of sources for country research on the Web, but they're scattered across so many sites that you could spend hours finding all of them. That's why I was ecstatic when I found IPAnet ( ). This site, which is run by a World Bank agency, has thousands of free research documents you can download. For country profiles, just click on "Business: Country Overview", and you'll find research by region and country -- lots of it (there are 210 sources on East and Southeast Asia alone). Besides country studies, you'll also find economic data, market research, investment-related laws and treaties, and specific investment opportunities.



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



Every member state of the European Union has a value added tax (VAT). The rates vary from 15 to 25 percent among the member states and among certain types of products. If you do business with EU countries you need to know about Value Added Tax, and a good place to get up to speed is European Union Value Added Tax ( ). This site has links to information about VAT rates, legislation, proposals, refund procedures, and everything else you need to know.

One thing you may not know is that companies can reclaim the VAT on specific business expenses. A lot of companies don't seem to know this -- according to some estimates, US companies are currently reclaiming only 20 percent of the more than $1 billion they are paying in VAT in Europe, whereas German companies are giving away an estimated $1.2 billion in unclaimed European VAT refunds. The VAT Recovery Group, headquartered in Germany, can help you recover your VAT expenses. You'll find a link to them at the FITA site ( ).



Although I'm not a tv addict, I did shed a tear at the last episode of "Frasier", because I got attached to the characters after so many years. That's why a site like TV Tome ( ) can be such fun. TV Tome has guides to over 2,100 shows, covering all the current shows and many classic shows. The guides have information on the cast and crew of each show, plus a list of episodes, reviews, a "goofs guide" which points out mistakes in the episodes, and a message forum. TV Tome also has tv news, including a fall schedule, information about shows in development, and much more. It's a tv fan's dream.


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Published by Federation of International Trade Associations
Copyright © 2004 Federation of International Trade Associations. All rights reserved.


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