Best exporting websites

Written by Kim Shiffman

Finally ready to sell abroad, but not sure where to start? Thanks to the Web, there’s a wealth of free research at your fingertips — everything from exporting basics to international market intelligence. Surf through these seven top-drawer Canadian websites on your way to conquering foreign markets. Run by Ottawa, this is a comprehensive source of export information. Highlights: learn to sell to governments, mitigate risk and identify your target market. You’ll also find links to non-government and private sector export-related websites. The Canadian Trade Commissioner’s site offers market reports by industry sector or country. Best of all, you can register for your own Virtual Trade Commissioner and be notified immediately, via the Web, of any news affecting your industry or market. You know Export Development Canada as a provider of finance solutions for Canadian exporters, but this site also contains economic information and industry research. Bonus: click on “tools” for export-readiness quizzes, currency calculators and other fun stuff. The CIA (yes, THAT CIA) website has the up-to-date goods on every country in the world — from population to per capita wages to industrial needs, it has it all. It’s the place to go if you want to figure out if there is an opium trafficking issue in Kyrgyzstan or decent telecommunications in Surinam. (Yes to both.) It’s a great starting point for your market research. Very cool. You’ll find trade data, listings of trade shows and events, and links to other exporting sites. And if you need a little face time, this site can direct you to the nearest Industry Canada representative for some in-person advice.

/exporting/: PROFIT’s articles about exporting contain specific advice and anecdotes from Canadian entrepreneurs who’ve been there, done that. Most banks and credit unions give a nod to export issues, but Royal Bank in particular has an extensive site for SMEs interested in foreign markets. And in the spirit of Macy’s sending customers to Bloomingdale’s, the site has extensive links to numerous export financing services that don’t actually belong to the bank.

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