International Business and Market Conditions



This guide is intended to help you find information on business, market, and economic conditions of countries. It is aimed at students doing research in international marketing and other courses where learning about the economic and commercial climate of a country is important.

Find Out What Has Recently Been Going On in the Country


This step is not specifically business-oriented. But before you do anything else, it is important for you to have some idea of what has recently been going on in the country. You could collect all the economic and demographic data you could find, but the context of that information would be completely changed if a civil war recently erupted or if a devastating earthquake occurred.

Here are two web sites that link to news stories on countries:

  • ABYZ News Links
    A portal to online news sources from around the world. It is primarily composed of newspapers but also includes many broadcast stations, internet services, magazines, and press agencies.
  • Google News
    Presents information culled from approximately 4,000 news sources worldwide. You can't browse by country, but you can type your country's name as a keyword.

One Library databases that is a good source of news:

Collect Economic and Demographic Data


In order to do effective market research, it is important to obtain economic and demographic data on the country.

CIA World Factbook
Facts and statistics on more than 250 countries and other entities.

Country Background Notes
Produced by the U.S. State Department.
Consolidates a great deal of data into a single location and even provides recent news stories.

Mergent Online
Mostly company data, but it also provides nicely detailed country reports as well. Look for the link called “County Profile” on the home page of Mergent Line.

United Nations Statistics Division
Provides all sorts of detailed statistics, some of which you need a subscription to, but still a lot for free.

Find Specific Information on Business Climate and Market Conditions


Up to this point, your research has been general, so it is important to find resources that discuss the investment and market climate of your country. The following web sites are helpful.

Country Briefings from the
Contains short country profiles. The forecasts are helpful.

Doing Business: Benchmarking Business Regulations
Provides indicators of the cost of doing business by identifying specific regulations that enhance or constrain business investment, productivity, and growth. Country and Industry Market Research
Links to helpful resources, including advice and statistics.

Overseas Private Investors Corporation
OPIC, a U.S. government agency, assists U.S. private investment overseas. The Investor's Info Gateway Links provide a lot of country-specific information.

You still may also need to read specialized articles from business publications on your country.

The two best databases are:

ProQuest Business Library 
The premier business and management journal database providing extensive coverage of North America and the world.

Business Source Complete via EBSCOhost
Full-text coverage for 8,200 periodicals, including the full text for more than 1,100 peer-reviewed business publications covering management, economics, finance, accounting, international business, etc. This database also includes economic and market research reports for countries.

Find Trade Statistics


If you need to find world trade data (who imports/exports what from whom), then consult these sources.

Statista gathers statistical information on over 600 industries from over 10,000 different sources, such as market researchers, trade organizations, scientific publications, and government sources.

Interactive Tariff and Trade DataWeb
This site is hard to use, but provides detailed data on American exports to other countries. For example, you can determine the dollar value of exports of sleeping bags to Germany in any given year.

International Trade Centre Statistics
Provides statistics by country or product.

The premier online resource for comprehensive information and links to global trade assistance centers throughout California.

UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN Comtrade)

U.S. Trade Administration

World Bank Trade Statistics

World Trade Organization International Trade Statistics

Find Books in the Library


You may have enough information by this point, but you might want to also investigate some of the print materials that can be found in the Library.

The Library might own some useful books. Try a Title Keyword Search of your country name in the Library Catalog, and then sort the results by date, so that you view the most recent books first.