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By Amy Burns

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My Favourite Tipples are shared by Amy Burns, research manager for Jinfo and former research manager in the professional services industry. Amy shares a few of her favourite online sources for country research that she collected over her 18 years doing due diligence and strategy work for retail and consumer products consulting clients.


Much of this "Top 5" list that I pulled together comes from my work helping retail and consumer products clients investigate new countries for retail locations, manufacturing bases or new product development/sourcing partners. These are primarily focused on what one would use as a US company expanding to new countries, but the country information should be relevant for all readers.

One of the first stops was to create a profile of potential countries/regions of interest, then work to a more granular level of company/site/partner level information. So, for information regarding doing business around the globe, I would also reference the following sites (in addition to many of the excellent paid subscription services available):

  • CIA World Factbook: The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. Nice high-level overview of basic country information.
  • The US Department of State: Whether it is travel-related information or bilateral relations fact sheets you are after, the US Department of State will be able to provide you with the most up-to-date information on political and trade relations data by country. At the bottom of each country page is a list of representatives/contact information and a good collection of other source references.
  • TradePort: TradePort is a repository of free information and resources for businesses involved in all aspects of global trade. It includes information on export strategy and rules of trade as well as market research and a trade library.
  • World Bank: The World Bank offers data, research, publications and news by country. Whether you are looking for basic macroeconomic information or specifics on lending and skills trade training in the country, the World Bank's website is a one-stop-shop for international business information.
  • Federation of International Trade Associations (FITA): FITA offers links to resources for most countries in the world as well as more than 80 country profiles developed by Export Entreprises, of Paris, France. I have found the "tools of the trade" section of their website extremely valuable in the past for looking up trade law.

An article in Jinfo which I found particularly interesting:

  • In addition to always looking for new and relevant sources when conducting competitive intelligence research, having the right tools in place to be able to monitor and curate large volumes of information is critical. The "Market landscape - competitive intelligence products" gives a nice overview of eight key tools in this space and is a great place to begin the evaluation to find the right product for your organisation. 

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