Free For All

Export Advice

Small exporters take note: A new Web site from American Express is worth a closer look--and perhaps even a bookmark.

Rich in information, American Express Small Business Exchange ( ) is designed to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses by providing access to business planning information and networking opportunities. Content furnished through a partnership with Boston-based International Strategies Inc., a provider of global information services for small and medium-sized firms, is a highlight not to be overlooked--especially by entrepreneurs scoping out international markets.

Just click "expand internationally" on the home page, and you're immediately linked to valuable market research reports for 78 countries. You have two report topics to choose from for each country. The Export Issues report covers trade regulations, negotiations, banned imports, labeling requirements and patent information. The Business Travel and Protocol report encompasses entry requirements, health considerations, major commercial holidays, common phrases, attitudes toward Americans and more. "[The reports] provide information somebody would need to do business in that country," says Michael Jaffe, the site's manager.

The standard reports are free, and you don't have to be an American Express cardholder to use them. In-depth country reports can be purchased from the International Strategies Web site at

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This article was originally published in the November 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Free For All.

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