These database will provide you with general background on the countries you are researching.
- Global Insight
The Country Intelligence reports provide risk assessment for 180 countries on legal, tax, economic, political and security.
The economic section lists top industries and major trading partners for each country.
- CIA Factbook
Includes information about foreign countries with reference maps. Also includes information about the United Nations and other Intergovernmental Organizations.
- OECD Economic Surveys (1997 to present)
Reviews of member and non-member economies covering key economic challenges being faced and recommendations for dealing with the challenges.
Of the trade databases, the UN and IMF ones are the most comprehensive.
- United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN comtrade)
List import and export statistics for 140 countries. One can see aggregate trade between countries or limit by commodity.
- UN Service Trade Database
Provides resident to non-resident trade in services and some related data series, broken down by EBOPS category and partner country, starting with the year 2000, on an
annual basis. Free resource (registration required)
(Source:National Statistical Offices, Central Banks and the Statistical Office of the European Communities.)
- IMF eLibrary - Data
Contains the Direction of Trade Statistics (DOTS)
- Trade Data Online
Provides the ability to generate customized reports on Canada's and U.S. trade in goods with over 200 countries. Users can search by product or by industry.
- World Trade Organization Statistics Database
Choose Services Profiles
Covers transportation, telecommunications, finance and insurance.
- WTO Tariff Data
- National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE)
Surveys significant foreign barriers to U.S. exports by country. Includes import tariffs and taxes, export subsidies, intellectual property rights protection, service and investment barriers, and other policies.
- Department of Commerce Country Commerce Guides
"What you need to know..." Reports published by the US Government for American businesses wanting to operate in a specific country.
- World Bank's Doing Business In....
Measures the regulatory environment of 181 countries that is conducive to the operation of business using the indicators:
Starting a business
Dealing with construction permits
Trading across borders
Closing a business
- Global Competitiveness Index
The methodology of this index has changed considerably over the years. The most recent index is based on 12 pillars of competitiveness, each of which is also ranked:
Health and Primary Education
Higher Education and Training
Labour Market Efficiency
Financial Market Sophistication