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Lesson Eight -
International Trade Training Resources

Lesson Goals

        Identify Global Niche Market Opportunities

        Review the Best International Trade Training Resources

        Gain Perspective on the Emerging Global Economy

        Know About Third World Ecommerce - Competition or Customer?

The Big Picture of a Global Economy

By U.S. standards, most of the world is still in poverty. Happily, new satellite and wireless systems will soon be able to bring the Internet to nearly any point on the globe - bringing the potential for new economic solutions. There are many emerging initiatives to use these new technologies in remote communities worldwide and there are already many international Ecommerce and telework resources available to you on the Internet. We are in the midst of witnessing the evolution of a new global economy. It is important to work toward thinking globally and at the same time support local community sustainability. As a strategy for balance - Act locally, think globally.

By posting products and/or services on the web, you can reach a global market. Many examples of rural individuals enjoying booming businesses selling unique products globally exist as models to follow. It is recommended you consider finding a global niche, something unique that you can do very well, perhaps better than anyone else. The sooner a niche is identified, the sooner your reputation can be established. As a strategy, watch for how others are actively doing this, and prepare to copy the more effective strategies.

Third World Ecommerce - Competition or Customer?

While half the population of the planet has yet to make their first phone call, billions will soon come onto the Internet. There are billions of people worldwide who could benefit from your help and expertise. While you might consider them potential competitors, you might also consider them potential customers and partners. The better you understand their needs, the better you'll understand the global market place. There is a trillion-dollar market for whomever can provide measurable empowerment skills and services to the global populace.

With the ease of online collaborative tools such as email, listservs, and many other tools, it will become easier and easier to engage in international trade. Knowing that the doors are opening, you're advised to learn about existing international trade opportunities and to create a personal strategy for keeping current as new doors open.

As hundreds of thousands of rural communities gain Internet access, many will eagerly embrace the potential to pull themselves out of dire poverty. The time interval you now have before these communities become your direct competition is your immediate first-to-market opportunity to establish your global niche. Once Internet connectivity is established, whole countries will soon be dealing directly with the social challenges of creating an inspired and motivated citizenry. While many rural communities have not yet recognized their advantage of being first in the world to have local Internet access, many will soon acknowledge their missed opportunities and will begin to take action.

Workers in other countries will work for such low wages that an increasing number of manufacturing businesses are moving overseas leaving many Americans without jobs. Companies face the competitive choice of paying $15/hour here vs. 50 cents or less an hour in a third-world country. The emerging global economy is going to create many dramatic changes. Your best strategy is to inform yourself early about the coming inevitable changes in order to strategically position yourself to survive economically.

While you may have started this online course thinking you were way behind, you've already leapfrogged ahead of most of the human race. Many of these coming trends can be terrifying due to their dramatic ramifications, but this knowledge of what is coming is far less threatening to your well being than the risks of not knowing. Your strategy should be to maintain your awareness about the coming changes with a plan to turn them into opportunities.

Hands-on Activities

Spend a few minutes at each of the following sites, focusing on their international trade training resources as well as their other resources listings. Then return to those sites you found most interesting for extended exploration. Consider creating a hotlist of the best resources for future use.

International Trade Center (ITC) of the United Nations
Click on each of the categories "around the clock image" and look at just the first page in each category. ITC is the technical cooperation agency of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) for operational, enterprise oriented aspects of trade promotion. It supports developing countries and transition economies and particularly their business sectors in their efforts to realize their full potential for developing exports and import operations.  The ITC  has recently published the "E-Commerce Legal Kit". The concept of the Kit is based on various demands ITC has received for training in legal aspects of e-commerce.

The New Gold Rush - Mining Raw Human Potential With Free Web Tools - Part II
Characteristics of a global knowledge economy are fundamentally different from the industrial age physical products-based economy.

Global Tradepoint Network
Search for international trade leads. Click on International Web Resources on the lower left for the most comprehensive searchable database of International Trade Web Resources on the Internet, a service of FITA - The Federation of International Trade Associations. More than 5000 links to International Trade and Import-Export Web sites are annotated and indexed.

International Trade Resource and Data Exchange
Learn how to trade internationally.

United Nations International Resources and Programs
Take a long look down the directory at the volume of resources.

World Trade Organization

In brief, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible. See the Electronic Commerce section under the Trade Topics tab and the WTO distance learning section for free online lessons and Trade Resources link under the Resources Tab.

To Complete This Lesson

1.      Send an email to your instructor stating what strategies you're planning to adopt.

2.      Send an email to the listserv (send to isu-ecommerce@mm.isu.edu ) with the web address for at least one interesting International trade success story or resource.

Optional Skill-Builders

Read each article once without clicking on the presented web addresses. Then return to explore those links that interested you.

Read the article "Sweatshops and Butterflies" found on the home page. Solar-powered satellite Internet connections for remote villages are used to create a business model to empower third world cultures with culturally appropriate Ecommerce.

Read Echoes in the Electronic Wind
A short article on Native American and Alaskan Native opportunities for leadership with community networking. Applicable to all communities.

Review how indigenous and third world cultures may benefit from Ecommerce.

Culturally Appropriate Ecommerce Models and Initiatives

Native American E-Business Listings

Culturally Appropriate Ecommerce for Alaskan Natives and Native Americans

A business model attempting to empower third world cultures with culturally appropriate Ecommerce.

International Federation for Alternative Trade

Multicultural and Global Development Organizations
Many resources related to indigenous and global issues. Review the last section on Global Development Organizations and Resources.

Other International Trade Resources

Youth World Trade Training
Sponsored by the Reis Foundation. Select "Trade Resources" and follow all "Other Links" listings.  See also http://www.reisfoundation.org/ Youth entrepreneurship focus

International Training Center
Based in Italy, free training is available online.

Software for global trade systems