Finding Country Information
For anyone considering doing business in a foreign country, it is imperative to conduct advance research in order to learn about the country: its culture, its economic system, its business practices and regulations, etc.
Many UMUC Library databases contain country reports that provide an overview for various countries. These databases include:
A variety of country information is also available on the free Web.
Scroll down the page or use the links provided above to learn how to find country information in these different resources.
To find country information in ABI/INFORM Complete, first click on the Browse link toward the top left-hand corner of your screen:
Then scroll down the page to see links for available types of country reports:
To find country reports in Business Source Complete, enter a country's name in a search box and scroll down the page to the Search Options section to select Country Report as the publication type:
In Mergent Online, use the drop-down menu in the Country Profile section toward the bottom right-hand corner of the page to find country reports:
You may be able to find additional country information in the databases listed above and in other UMUC library databases (Academic Search Ultimate, Dissertations & Theses Global, etc.) by conducting a keyword search for a country's name, along with a keyword search for an aspect of the country that you're interested in studying (e.g., japan AND "business etiquette").
There are numerous print books available in catalogUSMAI (the UMUC Library catalog) that discuss how to do business in other countries. These include:
- Doing business globally
- the Doing business in [country name] series
- Doing business internationally: The guide to cross-cultural success
- Global business etiquette: A guide to international communication and customs
- Kiss, bow, or shake hands: The bestselling guide to doing business in more than 60 countries
You can find additional country information in print books in catalogUSMAI by clicking on the advanced search link for the catalog. Enter a country's name and use the drop-down menu to search for the term in the subject field of documents in the catalog. Then enter additional terms of interest in the other search boxes (e.g., japan AND "business etiquette"), as shown in the image below:
There are numerous e-books available in eBook Collection (on EBSCOhost) that discuss how to do business in other countries. These include:
- Breaking through culture shock: What you need to succeed in international business
- Bridging the culture gap: A practical guide to international business communication
- Countries and their cultures
You can find additional country information in e-books in eBook Collection (on EBSCOhost) by entering a country's name and other terms of interest in the search boxes (e.g., japan AND "business etiquette"), as shown in the image below:
There are numerous free websites that contain reliable country information. Below is a listing of some of these sites.
- Census Bureau International Data Base
This site from the U.S. Census Bureau provides a variety of demographic data (fertility rates, mortality rates, migration rates, etc.) for countries and certain world regions.
- CIA World Factbook
This site from the Central Intelligence Agency provides "information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities."
- Deloitte Taxation and Investment Guides
Consulting firm Deloitte's site provides access to international Taxation and Investment Guides, which are intended to be "a first stop for investors wishing to gain a working perspective on the operating conditions and investment climate -- including the legal, accounting, and taxation framework" in 65 worldwide jurisdictions.
- Department of State Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets
This frequently updated site from the U.S. Department of State provides numerous country profiles, each of which contains links to sources of additional information.
- Doing Business
This site, maintained by The World Bank Group, "provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement" for nearly 200 countries and selected cities at the subnational and regional level. To use the site, select a country from the Select an economy menu toward the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
- Euromonitor Country Reports
This site, maintained by independent, privately owned Euromonitor International, provides "data and analysis of market size, distribution channel analysis, market trends, competitive landscape, legislation, local company profiles, company and brand shares, and five-year forecasts" for 80+ countries. Reports are updated annually.
This site, maintained by Michigan State University, provides statistical data and other information (economic, historic, cultural, etc.) for 200+ countries.
- International Monetary Fund
The IMF website provides access to reports and data related to countries' finances. See especially the Countries link and/or the Data link toward the top of the page.
- International Trade Centre
The website of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, provides information for various world regions, countries, and territories.
- Lex Mundi Guides to Doing Business
The Lex Mundi Guides to Doing Business series provides access to reports covering business, economic, political, and cultural trends in more than 100 countries. Reports are prepared by members of the Lex Mundi global network of law firms.
- OECD iLibrary
This site includes books and reports as well as statistics and other data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and various other agencies. The site replaced SourceOECD in 2010. Click on the Browse by Country link and/or the Browse by Theme & Country link toward the top of the page.
- TradeStats Express
This site, presented by the Office of Trade and Industry Information, Manufacturing and Services, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, presents state and national quarterly and annual trade data from the Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau.
This site, created by the United Nations Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, provides access to millions of data points on a wide variety of topics from national and international databases.
- U.S. Commercial Service Country Commercial Guides
This site, offered by the U.S. Department of Commerce, provides access to country commercial guides written by U.S. embassy trade experts.
- World Bank Countries and Economies
This site provides access to a variety of information, including world development indicators, financial information, and climate data. Search results can be exported in different formats.