FAQ: Foreign Market Information

How can I locate importers, distributors, sales reps, etc. in an overseas market?

How can I learn more about my product's or service’s sales potential in overseas markets?

How do I obtain market research for a specific country or product?

How can I find out about investment practices in a certain country?

How do I locate trade leads for my exporting business? How do I locate potential distributors in overseas markets? How do I find information about a particular overseas company?

Where can I find a list of foreign companies in a particular industry or sector?

Where can I obtain information on foreign markets and trade opportunities for fish and agricultural products?

Where can I find information on proposed foreign government technical regulations?

Where can I find information on foreign government and international tenders?

How can I locate importers, distributors, sales reps, etc. in an overseas market?

The U.S. Commercial Service has programs and services to help you locate potential business partners overseas. Contact your nearest U.S. Export Assistance Center and speak with an International Trade Specialist. You can also receive free export counseling and learn more about our programs and services to help you compete around the globe. Call 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) or visit export.gov to find your local Export Assistance Center.

How can I learn more about my product's or service’s sales potential in overseas markets?

Market Research is good first step to learn about the sales potential of your product or service in countries abroad. The U.S. Commercial Service offers free online market research to U.S. companies seeking to enter international markets. Our database allows you to sort by country, industry and/or type of market report. Visit our Market Research Library and register to access these reports.

How do I obtain market research for a specific country or product?

The U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library (MRL) is the best way to obtain country and industry specific market research. The website provides access to the MRL, which contains more than 100,000 market reports, web sites, events, and trade directory listings.

In the MRL you can find the Country Commercial Guides (CCGs), which provide comprehensive views of a selected country's commercial environment, including, market, economic, and political conditions, best export sectors, trade regulations, investment incentives, finance techniques, upcoming trade events, marketing strategies, services for exporters, business travel tips, etc. In addition, CCGs include important government and trade association contacts in a given country. CCGs are also available free-of-charge through the MRL by selecting "Market Research Library” from within the text of the webpage, then select the desired country in the <country> field and “country commercial guide” in the <report type> field of the search engine.

Additional information is also available on export and import statistics.

There are also numerous services available from the International Trade Administration that enable you to obtain customized market research reports to help determine the overall marketability of your product, identify key competitors, and possible business partners, as well as learn about distribution networks. For more information, please contact your local Export Assistance Center. Locate the Export Assistance Center nearest you or call 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) to speak to a Trade Information Center (TIC) international trade specialist.

In addition, many countries maintain their own web pages with business information specific to that country. For a list of foreign embassies in the United States posted on the Internet, visit http://www.embassy.org.

How can I find out about investment practices in a certain country?

Country Commercial Guides (CCG) examine each country's trade regulations and investment practices, and present a comprehensive look at the commercial environment in various countries through economic, political, and market analyses. Most CCGs are available free of charge through the Market Research Library. At the webpage, from within the text of that page, click on "Market Research Library." Then select the desired country in the <country> field and “country commercial guide” in the <report type> field of the search engine, click "Go."

Investment Climate Statements and other information on investment in foreign countries are often available on the Internet websites of individual U.S. embassies and consulates.

For further assistance, please contact the Trade Information Center:

Tel: 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) (1-800-872-8723)
Fax: (202) 482-4473
E-mail: TIC@trade.gov
Internet: http://www.export.gov

How do I locate trade leads for my exporting business? How do I locate potential distributors in overseas markets? How do I find information about a particular overseas company?

The U.S. Department of Commerce offers many programs to assist exporters with trade leads. These programs include:

  • Global Business Opportunities (GLOBUS),
  • Country Commercial Guides (CCG),
  • International Partner Search,
  • Gold Key Service,
  • International Buyer Program (IBP),
  • Trade Missions,
  • Product Literature and Sample Displays,
  • Orientation Visits,
  • U.S. Export Pavillions,
  • Trade Show Central,
  • Trade Show News Network,
  • Allworld Exhibitions,
  • Journal of Commerce (JoC),
  • Export Hotline,
  • World Trade Centers Association (WTCA), and
  • Business Information Service for the Newly Independent States (BISNIS).

Where can I find a list of foreign companies in a particular industry or sector?

The Trade Information Center (TIC) does not have comprehensive lists such as these, but can direct callers to other useful resources, such as:

  • The International Partner Search,
  • Commercial Officers in foreign trade offices, embassies, and consulates,
  • Foreign Trade Associations,
  • The Foreign trade Register,
  • Kompass International Trade Directories, and
  • AllBusiness.

Where can I obtain information on foreign markets and trade opportunities for fish and agricultural products?

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NMFS, otherwise known as NOAA Fisheries, works with fishing industry representatives and organizations to facilitate access to foreign markets. In cooperation with the Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration, NMFS assists exporters seeking information on export inspection services for fishery exports and issues U.S. government certifications. The NMFS can be contacted at:

   

Seafood Inspection Services Division: (301) 713-2355 for information on export inspection services and foreign country requirements. Or visit them online at http://seafood.nmfs.noaa.gov/

National Marine Fisheries Service website: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) is the first point of contact for agricultural export advice and information on USDA export and marketing programs, foreign market research, trade data by country and commodity, trade policy and regulations, export sales, and trade leads. The FAS can be contacted at:

Office of Outreach and Exporter Assistance: (202) 720-7420.

Email: USTHelp@fas.usda.gov

Internet: http://www.fas.usda.gov

The FAS website contains many useful research materials, including World Production, Trade and Market Reports, and Attaché Reports.

For further assistance, please contact the Trade Information Center:

Tel: 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) (1-800-872-8723)
Fax: (202) 482-4473
E-mail: TIC@trade.gov
Internet: http://www.export.gov

Where can I find information on proposed foreign government technical regulations?

Go to the "Notify U.S." service to receive, via email, notifications of drafts or changes to foreign regulations for a specific industry sector and/or country. You can review and comment on proposed foreign technical regulations that may affect your business. Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to report proposed technical regulations that may affect trade to the WTO Secretariat, who in turn makes them available to all WTO Members. By registering for the Notify U.S. service, you can have these notifications sent directly to you.

Where can I find information on foreign government and international tenders?

TCC provides links to websites containing information on Global Procurement Opportunities.