• Did You Know?

Agriculture, especially the raising of cattle and sheep and production of dairy goods, is economically important in the state. Crops include wheat, hay, corn, and sugar beets.

Export and Trade

Doing Business in… is a set of around 60 booklets prepared by accounting giant HLB International for their staff and clients. Covering countries from Argentina to Vietnam, each booklet is designed to provide some general information to those contemplating doing business in that country. They are not intended to be comprehensive documents. Booklets include general information on the country and its population, investment factors, types of organizations, workforce regulations, and taxation regulations.

Export.gov brings together resources from across the U.S. Government “to assist American businesses in planning their international sales strategies and succeeding in today’s global marketplace.” The site offers an Export Basics primer as well as international market research, trade leads from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service, export finance information from Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration, and agricultural export assistance from USDA.

Federation of International Trade Associations maintains a Global Trade Portal, which is a source for international import export trade leads, events, and links to 8,000 international trade (export/import) related Websites. The website features country profiles for dozens of countries, each of which contains sections that cover general information, market access, practical information, economic indicators, market research, country risk, doing business, agriculture, taxes and accounting, labor market, media, and other useful links. Other resources on the site provide information about transportation and logistics, trade finance and currencies, trade law, and trade shows.

globalEDGE, created by the Center for International Business Education and Research at Michigan State University, offers information on global business activities. A section of Country Insights provides current information on the business climate, news, history, political structure, economic landscape, and relevant statistical data for around 200 countries. The Industry Profiles section offers information, news, events, and statistical data for 20 broad industry sectors. The Resource Desk offers Market Potential Indicators for Emerging Markets, which ranks the market potential of 27 countries identified as an “Emerging Market” by The Economist magazine. Among the other useful resources are an annotated list of global, regional, and county-specific statistical data sources, and a list of international trade shows and events.

Market Research Library, a service of the U.S. Commercial Service, offers more than 42,000 market research reports for all countries in the world. You must be a U.S. company, student, or researcher to access the Market Reports, and you must register with Export.gov. Reports cover industries ranging from the bottled water to aquaculture equipment, to the automotive aftermarket. These reports are also available through STAT-USA.

USA Trade Online is the official source for U.S. Export and Import Statistics. The database features current and cumulative export and import data on more than 18,000 export commodities and 24,000 import commodities worldwide up to the 10-digit level.

Trade Data Online is the best free source of trade statistics for Canada. The Web site provides customized reports on Canadian and U.S. trade in goods with more than 200 countries. Two types of reports can be created: by product or by industry. You can select criteria such as trade type (export, import, etc.), trader (Canada, U.S. or province), value, trading partner, time period, and product (by Harmonized System codes) or industry (by NAICS codes) and generate a graph or report including those elements. Data for these reports comes from Statistics Canada and the U.S. Census Bureau.

UN Comtrade provides access to the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database. Upon free registration, the user has access to one billion trade data records from 1962 forward. The search query has a set of drop-down boxes that allow the user to search for imports or exports of selected commodities during a specified period of time from one country to another; for example, you can find out about the import of bamboo products to the United States for 2007 from any country in the world.

U.S. International Trade Statistics provides a broad and comprehensive range of foreign trade statistics that are available on a monthly, annual, and historical basis. Statistics include quantities, values, shipping weights, methods of transportation (air or vessel), duties collected, unit prices, and market share.

World Trade Organization Statistics Database provides trade statistics covering WTO member nations. You can view a trade or tariff profile or create a custom data set by selecting from a series of data points, for example, the amount of merchandise trade for a specific commodity. These time series reports can be downloaded in a variety of formats, including Excel.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development issues demographic and economic reports on an ongoing basis for their 30 OECD member countries, as well as occasional reports for several non-member countries. These resources cover gross domestic product, international trade statistics, price statistics, economic projections, labor force statistics, and many more topics. The site also offers a free online version of the OECD Factbook: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics, as well as information about a number of OECD databases, most of which are only available through a paid subscription. You can browse the site by topic, country or OECD department.