Virtual Library

This WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources is a frequently updated Internet directory of over 2000 annotated links to high-quality English-language sources of information and analysis in a wide range of international affairs, international relations, international studies, global studies, and global education topics. These sites are carefully selected for their long-term value, favoring those with cost-free, authoritative information and analysis online. Each website is described only in general terms because of the typically rapid changes in details of its contents and features.




INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS


Blogs, Academic, and Research Institutes
United States and
Canadian Governments
Business and 
Commercial
International
Organizations


Blogs, Academic, and Research Institutes


Insightful Blogs and Free Newsletters about International Business and Economics-- World Trade Daily, Global Watch Newsletter, Economix (NYT), Wall Street Journal, The Economist, iMFdirect, World Bank

BusinessDictionary.com-- "Features over 20,000 terms and over 115,000 links between related terms, providing a clear and concise description of any and all business terms."


Change Readiness Index-- From KPMG, in collaboration with Oxford Economics, "an index which assesses the ability of 90 countries (developed and developing) to manage change and cultivate the resulting opportunity." Features "in-depth country profiles including specific strengths and opportunities, country, region and income level comparisons, and full rankings list for the overall CRI and the three pillars (Enterprise Capability, Government Capability, and People & Civil Society Capability)." Full report available in PDF.

Fraser Institute-- Independent Canadian research and educational organization with the mission "to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals." Sponsors the Economic Freedom of the World Project (Free the World), which conducts and posts detailed comparative studies on economic freedom around the world, most notably the Economic Freedom of the World Report, with both global and country-specific analysis and rankings.

globalEDGE-- From the International Business Center at Michigan State University, "a knowledge web-portal that connects international business professionals worldwide to a wealth of information, insights, and learning resources on global business activities" by countries, U.S. states, industries, and trade blocs with "statistics, indices, trade information, maps, interactive rankings, and resources pages." The Global Resource Directory "offers a rich collection of thousands of international business- and trade-related resources." There is an international business glossary. The Online Course Modules, "interactive educational tools for use in the classroom or in executive training,,..focus on issues pertinent to international business and include a case study or anecdotes, a glossary of terms, quiz questions, and a list of references when applicable."

Global Integrity-- "Generates, synthesizes, and disseminates credible, comprehensive and timely information on governance and corruption trends around the world... Our information is meant to serve simultaneously as a roadmap for engaged citizens, a reform checklist for policymakers, and a guide to the business climate for investors." Posts much insightful data and analysis. Note especially the Global Integrity Report.

Group of 8 Information Centre-- From the G8 Research Group at the University of Toronto, "G7/G8 background information, all documentation arising from G7 summit meetings, available documentation from G7 ministerial and other meetings," and "scholarly articles and bibliographies about the G7 process."

Index of Economic Freedom-- "A [searchable] practical reference guide to the world's economies. It includes country-by-country analyses and the most up-to-date data available on foreign investment codes, taxes, tariffs, banking regulations, monetary policy, black markets, and more," from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank aiming to spread the ideas of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. Co-published with The Wall Street Journal.

Institute for Management Development-- One of the world's leading global business schools, located in Lausanne, Switzerland, working to help executives and companies find new and innovative ways to sustain global competitiveness. Note the online information from their widely-quoted World Competitiveness Yearbook, "the world’s most renowned and comprehensive annual report on the competitiveness of nations, ranking and analyzing how a nation’s environment creates and sustains the competitiveness of enterprises."

International Trade Compliance Institute-- From the El Camino College Center for International Trade Development, extensive information on compliance with international trade regulations (with database), glossary, import-export basics, news alerts, and country resources.

International Trade Resources-- Excellent and very useful "Subject Tracer™ Information Blog developed and created by the Virtual Private Library™. It is designed to bring together the latest resources and sources on an ongoing basis from the Internet covering the latest international trade resources."

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics-- A highly-regarded, private, nonprofit, nonpartisan American research institution devoted to the study of international economic policy, especially in anticipating emerging issues and offering "practical ideas, presented in user-friendly formats, to inform and shape public debate." Many working papers, policy briefs, speeches, testimonies, and so forth are online.


Transparency International-- Transparency International is the "leading global non-governmental organisation devoted to combating corruption." Their many corruption surveys, indexes, and reports rank "the home countries of the payers of international bribes" and rank "countries in terms of the degree to which they are perceived to be the homes of bribe-takers-- public officials who abuse their office for personal gain."


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United States and Canadian Governments


NOTE: Also check the relevant links in the United States Government Information Sources section of this Web site.

Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce-- Data, articles, and surveys on exports, imports, and capital flows to and from the U.S., and its position in the world economy.


Country Information-- From Export Development Canada, international business-related analytical profiles for most countries. Also visit their Knowledge Centre, for in-depth analyses, free publications, and a library of trade resources.

Customs and Border Protection-- "The single unified border agency of the United States." Information on the agency's border control and customs functions, with official statements, import, export, border security, and international travel information, regulations, statistics, and forms. Note the Customs Rulings Online Search System, a searchable database of CBP rulings, plus trade-related links.

Department of Agriculture Agency Reports-- Part of a "Newsroom" to access and search current and past reports of the Economic Research Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, National Agricultural Statistics Service, and World Agricultural Outlook Board of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Export.gov-- "The portal to all export-related assistance and market information offered by the [U.S.] federal government." A huge amount of current market information and analysis for many products and countries, advice on practical matters, and links to related U.S. government websites on trade topics is available through this searchable site. The excellent Market Research section contains many analytical reports and statistics on a wide range of international business-related information, including country situations and practices. Note the U.S. Free Trade Agreements section. The tariffs and import fees calculator for international markets helps you find and calculate estimated tariffs and taxes on products. The free trade agreement tariff tool allows users to find tariff information and export data on specific industrial goods covered under the FTAs.

Export-Import Bank-- The Export-Import Bank of the United States is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance the overseas sales of U.S. goods and services.

Foreign Agricultural Service-- Searchable news and analysis on world agricultural trade and policy, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, by countries and commodities, especially as affects the United States. The USDA Economic Research Service overview of U.S. Agricultural Trade has information and data on U.S. agricultural trade with all the countries and regions of the world. Also see the more general USDA section on International Markets and Trade for much topical information and analysis.

International Labor Comparisons, from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics-- Comparative statistical information on labor conditions and developments outside the United States.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation-- An independent U.S. government agency that assists U.S. companies investing in some 150 emerging economies around the world.

Trade.gov-- Website of the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, "provides access to ITA's valuable information and services regarding U.S. international trade policy." Note the Market Research Library (with fine country commercial guides) and the Market Access and Compliance section, which ensures that trade agreements that the U. S. signs are monitored and complied with.

Trade Data Online-- From Industry Canada, the latest searchable trade data for the U.S. and Canada, obtained from Statistics Canada and the U.S. Department of Commerce, by product and industry. "Provides the ability to generate customized reports on Canada's and U.S. trade in goods with over 200 countries."

TradeStats Express-- From the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis in the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, information about U.S. imports and exports that can be arranged, compared, and contrasted in many combinations and in a clear format by an advanced search facility.

U.S. Foreign Trade Statistics-- From the U.S. Census Bureau. Includes profile of U.S. exporting companies.

U.S. International Trade Commission-- An independent, quasi-judicial federal agency that provides trade expertise to government, determines the impact of imports on U.S. industries, and directs actions against certain unfair trade practices, such as patent, trademark, and copyright infringement. The very useful Interactive Tariff and Trade DataWeb allows customized free searches of various types of U.S. trade data by country and product. Also note the many publications free online. The Harmonized Tariff Schedule section "contains the chapter-by-chapter listing of the [U.S.] Harmonized Tariff Schedule and general notes."

United States Trade Representative-- Responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and leading or directing negotiations with other countries on such matters. Note the searchable document library and the many full-text reports and trade agreements available, plus the issue, regional, and sector-specific sections, including U.S. trade policy.


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Business and Commercial


Business without Borders-- From HSBC Bank, an "online platform for businesses expanding beyond the U.S. borders... [with] targeted content from Business without Borders and content partners... [that] address[es] the issues and needs of growing U.S. companies, from business tools, global trends and market analysis, to case studies and sector profiles." Site is "also a meeting place where members can develop relationships and share their experiences in being part of the global economy."


Coface North America-- Consulting firm that "helps companies -- of all sizes, in all industries -- minimize the risk of trading on credit. Our three main areas of business are credit insurance, credit reporting and collections services." Posts many general reports and specific country assessments of political and credit risk and business climate.


Doing Business in…-- From HLB International, a fine set of country business guides..."prepared for the use of clients, partners and staff of HLB International member firms. They are designed to give some general information to those contemplating doing business in other countries and are not intended to be comprehensive documents."

Economist-- The outstanding global news weekly from London, with research tools and searchable archives. Note the Markets and Data section.

Economist Intelligence Unit-- This affiliate of  the Economist provides "instant access to global business intelligence," some free and some on a subscription basis.

Euromoney Online-- This site includes Euromoney and World Link magazines, extended research and surveys, capital markets league tables from Euromoney's proprietary databases, and dates of forthcoming industry summits, conferences and seminars.  Requires free registration.


Global Trade.net-- Excellent site from the Federation of International Trade Associations that "assists in helping importers and exporters prepare their operations and find service providers to assist with their overseas business needs." Contains a knowledge resource of thousands of international trade reports, tips, and newsflows; a database of thousands of service providers worldwide; and a directory of Really Useful Links for International Trade.

International Chamber of Commerce-- From "the world business organization," information on the organization, its activities, national affiliates, conferences, and international trade and investment generally.

Journal of Commerce-- World-class international business newspaper, searchable and with archives.

Lex Mundi Guides to Doing Business-- "Collection of [detailed] overviews written by Lex Mundi member [law] firms that provide detailed information about each firm’s country, state, or province." Includes the U.S. and Canada.

Live Currency Converter-- "Converts any amount from one currency to another with more than 150 foreign currenies available. Exchange rates are updated every hour."

Market Watch-- From the Wall Street Journal, thorough coverage of the world's stock markets.

Universal Currency Converter-- This full version of the Universal Currency Converter figures rates among over 180 currencies. A standard version is also available for most uses.

U.S. Council for International Business-- American affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, and the International Organisation of Employers. It officially represents U.S. business positions both in the main intergovernmental bodies and to foreign business communities and their governments.


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International Organizations


Agricultural Market Access Database-- Cooperative effort by several governments and international organizations to make freely available online for reference and calculation, for scores of countries, "a common data set on tariffs, TRQs and imports, as well as the tools for researchers, policymakers, and others to use in analyzing levels of tariff protection in agriculture among WTO members." Data sets are by country, with a user's guide and sample calculations. Requires free registration.

Bank for International Settlements-- Owned and controlled by national central banks, the BIS provides services to central banks and, through them, to the international financial system more generally. Site hosts Publications on world banking, statistics on international finance, links to the central banks of the world, and a Central Bank Research Hub with publications from the world's central banks.

Foreign Trade Information System-- Trade Unit of the Organization of American States, with information, statistics, and documents about hemispheric integration, trade trends in the Western Hemisphere, and links to further data.

Global Preferential Trade Agreement Database-- From the International Trade Department of the World Bank, "information on preferential trade agreements around the world, including agreements that have not been notified to the World Trade Organization... indexed using a classification consistent with the WTO criteria... that allows users to search PTAs around the world by provisions or keywords and to compare provisions across multiple agreements."


Global Trade Alert—“Provides real-time information on state measures taken during the current global downturn that are likely to affect foreign commerce. It goes beyond other monitoring initiatives by identifying the trading partners likely to be harmed by these measures.” Supported by the World Bank and several other prestigious organizations.

International Council for Commercial Arbitration-- "Worldwide non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting and developing arbitration, conciliation and other forms of international dispute resolution.  ICCA convenes conferences, produces leading dispute resolution publications and works toward harmonization of arbitration and conciliation law and practice." Posts news, publications, and information about dispute resolution.

International Monetary Fund-- The IMF oversees a wide range of international economic and financial issues. At the eLibrary, you can "find in-depth, independent analysis on the financial crisis, development, macroeconomics, poverty reduction, trade, globalization, and much more." Numerous publications on economic and financial issues, including country information and World Economic Outlook, are available and searchable online. The Data Mapper presents World Economic Outlook data in map, graphic, and bubble chart form, such as GDP, inflation, and current account balance, from 1980 to the present, plus five-year projections. The Financial Soundness Indicators database is "aimed at supporting macroprudential analysis—the surveillance and assessment of the strengths and vulnerabilities of financial systems." Also see the quarterly journal Finance and Development.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)-- An NGO "network of the national standards institutes of 162 countries, on the basis of one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system." Site has information on the ISO and its work, with documents and reports about the standardization of products and services in the global market.

International Trade Centre-- A  joint subsidiary organ of the WTO and the United Nations, ITC posts excellent infobases, including bibliographies, trade contacts and information sources, international trade statistics, services, and market briefs.

Market Access Database-- From the Commission of the European Union, market and trade flow data by country, sector, or legal agreement area for scores of non-EU countries.  Also see the European Commission's External Trade site for much information on EU trade matters, internally and with non-members.

NAFTA Secretariat-- Organization responsible for administration of NAFTA dispute settlements. This site posts "information on the dispute settlement proceedings, legal texts and panel decisions and reports respecting the NAFTA."

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development-- The international organization of the industrialized, market-economy countries, to exchange information and harmonize policy to maximize economic growth within member countries and assist non-member countries to develop more rapidly. OECD statistics and many data sets are posted online. The Publishing section is a good place to start searching for publications, as are the Library and the Working Papers Series. OECD resources focusing on a particular country (OECD member or not) can be found in the Countries section. The very useful yearly OECD Factbook is "an essential tool providing a global overview of world economic, social and environmental trends." An interactive eXplorer feature allows Factbook time-series data manipulation on a world map and a scatter plot screen. Read the online version of the OECD Observer magazine for a topical approach to the latest interests of OECD research.

UN Comtrade, International Merchandise Trade Statistics-- From the United Nations Statistics Division, "This web site provides access to information and data on International Merchandise Trade Statistics and the work of the International Merchandise Trade Statistics Section of the United Nations Statistics Division."

United Nations Commission on International Trade Law-- "Core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law... [whose] business is the modernization and harmonization of rules on international business." Posts resources on international trade law and arbitration.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development-- "UNCTAD is the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly dealing with trade, investment and development issues." Site posts major development studies in summary or full-text, basic documents, and newsletters. UNCTADStat is the master location for all UNCTAD statistics and is continuously updated. Many UNCTAD areas of work are relevant to international business, such as Investment and Enterprise and Trade Analysis.


World Bank Group--  A very large number of excellent online publications is available, relevant to international business. Take a look at the large Data and Research and Documents and Reports sections. The World Bank Data Catalog is "a listing of available World Bank datasets, including databases, pre-formatted tables, reports, and other resources." See the journal Finance & Development. The Countries and Economies page presents time-series tables of key indicators by country. Check out the large Trade and Trade Research sections of the Bank, with many online publications. The very useful Doing Business site "provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 181 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level," especially concerning how regulations "enhance or constrain investment, productivity, and growth." Country business environment profile and annual world-wide reports are available. Business Environment Snapshots is a very useful and thorough country profiling facility, a "one-stop guide to business environment indicators, laws, and World Bank Group project information for 151 countries." The Logistics Performance Index "is an interactive benchmarking tool created to help countries identify the challenges and opportunities they face in their performance on trade logistics and what they can do to improve their performance [which] allows for comparisons across 160 countries." The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency provides analyses of global trends in political risk and case studies, especially the annual "World Investment and Political Risk." The Knowledge Resources page for Financial and Private Sector Development allows the user "to access our major data products,... publications, toolkits and other resources." The World Bank's Enterprise Analysis unit allows user-customized inquiries with the Enterprise Surveys of "data from face-to-face interviews with top managers and business owners in over 130,000 companies in 125 economies." World Trade Indicators is a comparative "interactive tool... designed to benchmark a country’s trade policy and institutions and help policy makers, advisors, and analysts identify the main border and behind-the border constraints to trade integration."

World Customs Organization-- This international organization dealing with customs regulations worldwide posts much information, explanation, and analysis of customs regulations and procedures, news, WTO recommendations, historical documents, a magazine, and links to national customs authorities.

World Economic Forum-- A world-class organization of leaders from business, government, academia, and the media partnering to create new business opportunities and to shape and address in an action-oriented way the key issues on the global agenda. Many excellent online publications about international business. Note the prestigious annual reports on Global Competitiveness, Global Enabling Trade, Financial Development, Global Gender Gap, Global Risk, and other valuable global, regional, and country reports.

World Trade Organization-- The only global body dealing with the rules of trade among nations, whose agreements are the legal ground-rules for international commerce and for trade policy. Note the Documents and Resources page for statistics, research, publications and other services of the WTO, the International Trade and Tariff Data page, and the WTO Documents page for searchable access to all online official WTO documents. The annual World Tariff Profiles "provides detailed data on the bound and applied tariffs of WTO members." The detailed WTO annual report on international trade statistics and the Trade Profiles booklet are especially useful. There is a regional trade agreements section with an Information System that allows retrieval of information on all RTAs notified to the GATT/WTO. The Tariff Download Facility database "contains comprehensive information on Most- Favoured-Nation (MFN) applied and bound tariffs at the standard Harmonized System (HS) subheading level for all WTO Members." Note the Chronological List of Disputes Cases and the Map of Disputes between WTO Members.


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This section of the WWW Virtual Library system was created, and is edited and maintained, by Dr. Wayne A.Selcher, Professor of International Studies Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA 17022-2288  U.S.A., as a volunteer and non-profit public service. This website copyright 1997-present by Wayne A. Selcher. E-mail: selchewa@etown.edu