Where to Find Export Market Information Online
Country Statistics and Information
Export market selection requires the gathering and assessment of information about a country's population, income, demographics and business environment. There are a number of well known and respected free-to-use websites where you can find such data.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) - Key Indicators
CIA World Factbook http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Index
Global Edge http://globaledge.msu.edu/ibrd/ibrd.asp
Governments on the WWW http://www.gksoft.com/govt/en/
Market Access Database http://mkaccdb.eu.int/cgi-bin/stb/mkstb.pl?action=search
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Information http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/
IPAnet (MIGA / World Bank) http://www.ipanet.net/
Market Access Sectoral and Trade Barriers Database
OFFSTATS: Official Statistics on the Web http://www.library.auckland.ac.nz/subjects/stats/offstats/OFFSTATSmain.htm
World Bank Data Query http://www.worldbank.org/data/dataquery.html
Merchandise Trade Statistics and Information
For the purposes of initial or expansion planning it can be helpful to obtain statistics showing Australia's major export markets for a particular product or product category, as well as figures showing global imports by country. Below are sources that provide detailed statistics across a number of markets.
DFAT TradeWatch http://tradewatch.dfat.gov.au/
UN Comtrade http://unstats.un.org/unsd/comtrade/
UNCTAD TRAINS http://www.unctad.org/trains/index.htm<
Company, Industry and Market Statistics and Information
Useful resources for researching overseas markets include government departments, international organisations, industry journals, industry associations, market research reports, and newspapers. Free-to-access online sources follow.
Corporate Information http://www.corporateinformation.com/
FITA Web Resources for International Trade http://www.fita.org/webindex/index.html
Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC)
Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) http://www.austrade.gov.au/
Monash/Austrade Business Case Studies and Surveys http://www.monash.edu.au/casestudies
Trade Promotion Agencies and Other Trade Support Institutions http://www.intracen.org/tpo/
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service http://www.fas.usda.gov/
Other Information Sources
Find Articles http://www.findarticles.com
Google News http://news.google.com/
Internet Public Library Newspapers http://www.ipl.org/div/news/
Desk Research Tips
- Use as many different resources as possible when you are conducting your research including the internet, libraries, journals, government and industry reports, news articles and subscription based databases.
- Contact banks, Austrade, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, business organisations, chambers of commerce, consulates and embassies, departments of foreign affairs and trade, export consultants, international freight forwarders, international telephone directories and universities.
- If you find an organisation or business that might be able to help go through their website, phone, fax or email them for further information.
- When online, make use of specialised directories and subject portals. Often compiled by experts, such niche gateways may save you time by directing you to the most relevant and useful websites for a particular market or topic.
- Carefully evaluate information to ensure it is accurate, concurrent with other published data and from a reliable, well-known source.
- Use websites as a jump off point to find other sites by exploring them thoroughly and making use of the Useful Links, Resources and Membership sections.
- Do the same off-line by following leads in print articles and newspaper editorials.
Field Research Tips
- Ideally, field research should only be undertaken after all desk research options have been thoroughly exhausted.
- No matter how complete your desk research there is no substitute for "seeing it for yourself", thus field research, although costly, is a necessary part of export market research.
- You need not do all the field research yourself. Market research agencies exist to help with primary research including surveys, questionnaires, data preparation and analysis.
- Before booking your flight, schedule discussions with potential buyers, agents, distributors, joint venture partners and government authorities.
- Try to organise your visit to coincide with trade fairs and exhibitions that you can attend, this will give you a good idea of the competition (exhibitors) as well as industry demand (attendees).
- Commission quantitative and /or qualitative research in the form of questionnaires, surveys and possibly focus groups.
- Arrange for carefully controlled product testing in the market place. Sometimes this can be done with the help of an agency.