Information on International Business: How the Government Can Help

 
on February 14 2012 10:37 AM
US Trade Representative Kirk gestures before the opening of the 8th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Geneva
US Trade Representative Kirk gestures before the opening of the 8th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Geneva Reuters

Governments in developed countries provide a wealth of information on international business. This is especially true for U.S. businesses looking for help from the U.S. government.

U.S. businesses can visit their closest Exports Assistance Center for in-person counseling. Some businesses may even have the opportunity to participate in U.S. government-sponsored trade missions to foreign countries, such as this one.

To keep abreast of such opportunities and other information, U.S. businesses can follow the U.S. Census Bureau's Global Reach blog, the ITA's tradeology blog and Office of the United States Trade Representative's blog.

The U.S. government also has other services such as the International Partners Search and Gold Key services that match U.S. businesses with international partners.

Many public U.S. universities, moreover, have terminal that offer additional access to private databases like the Euromonitor. Some universities may even host international business seminars and talks that businesses can attend.

Government entities outside of the federal level, like this one, also offer their own international business assistance programs to U.S. businesses.

Business outside of the U.S. can benefit from U.S. government resources.

The Department of Commerce's Country Commercial Guides and other reports are some of the most detailed and accurate information on doing business internationally.

Although the reports are geared towards U.S. businesses, businesses in other countries will undoubtedly find information in these reports that is relevant to them.

The U.S. CIA World Factbook and the U.S. State Department's Background Note on countries contain useful general information on various countries.

The U.S. government, of course, is not the only public entity that has information on international business.

The World Bank has troves of useful information, including indicators like economic growth, the ease of doing business index and the world trade indicators. The Asian Development Bank has information on many Asian countries.

Michigan State University's globalEDGE Web site aggregates useful information published by the World Bank and others and presents them in an attractive format.

Besides the U.S. government and international entities like the World Bank, the governments of several other countries also have high quality information on international business.

The Australian government has a top-notch trade portal at www.austrade.gov.au.

Its country profiles, for example, is one of the best resources available on business etiquette for many countries. The profiles and other parts of the Web site also contain information on many other pertinent topics for international business.

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