Resources for journalists covering international business

by July 29, 2011

international businessIn an increasingly globalized world, there’s a greater need for business coverage on an international scale. As developed countries like China, Brazil and the U.S. compete for market share in emerging economies and grow their consumer classes, the time is ripe for more journalists to produce balanced, accurate and well informed reporting from beyond their borders.

If you’re up for the challenge, our list of resources will provide a helpful starting place. Whether you’re searching for a story idea or educating yourself about international trade or seeking the latest trends in energy production, these resources will jump-start your international coverage.

The lists are divided into primary categories, although many of them cut across the board.

Country economic profiles and statistics

WORLD ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
Economic outlook comparisons by country based on data from the International Monetary Fund. Provides analysis and economic projections across a wide range of topics from employment to commodity price to international capital flows.

UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT
Compiles a wide range of data collected from national and international sources and provides free access to comprehensive statistics and indicators useful for  analysis of world trade, investment, international financial flows, and development. Here is a complete list of all the available data series.

Developing countries and emerging markets

CENTER FOR GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT

Conducts research and analysis on various issues related to how policies in developed countries affect people in the developing world. Research is available on various issues including effectiveness, education, globalization, migration and trade.

EUROMONITOR INTERNATIONAL
Conducts strategy research for consumer markets on a global scale covering every region including emerging markets. It analyzes companies and markets in more than 80 countries.

ENTERPRISE SURVEYS
Provides wide-ranging data on companies in emerging markets and developing economies. Compiles business data on more than 120,000 firms in 125 countries. The site also allows you to generate customized graphs and charts to help with comparisons and illustrations.

Energy, oil and other commodities

ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION
Provides data by country, region, and commercial group for over 200 countries including production and consumption  and trade of oil, natural gas, coal, electricity. It also includes information on carbon-dioxide emissions for different countries. There’s also free resource for analysis and juxtaposition of U.S and global oil production, use, trade and trends and international energy statistics.

INDEX MUNDI
This site contains detailed country statistics, charts, and maps compiled from multiple sources. It’s a good source for trade statistics, comparison of global commodity prices, energy production and consumption trends, exchange rates, etc

OPIS PRICING NEWS AND ANALYSIS
OPIS is a comprehensive source for petroleum pricing and news information. It also maintains the broad database of U.S. wholesale petroleum prices.

FDI and multinational corporations

UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION
Federal resource that gathers and analyzes trade data and other trade policy-related information. The agency investigates the impact of dumped and subsidized imports on domestic industries and conducts global safeguard investigations, and adjudicates cases involving imports that allegedly infringe intellectual property rights. Most information and analysis is available to the public.  The agency also produces the journal of international commerce and economics.

ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT
Measures productivity and global flows of trade and investments and predicts trends. Sets international standards from the safety of chemicals and nuclear power plants to the quality of produce. Provides a great source of international economic data.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION

The International Trade Administration’s mandate is to strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promote trade and investment, fair trade. ITA works to improve the global business environment and help U.S. organizations compete at home and abroad. It’s a solid source for international trade statistics, data and analysis and trade finance guide.

INVESTMENT CLIMATE/ FDI CENTER
Great resource for understanding FDI and international trade.

OVERSEAS PRIVATE INVESTMENT CORPORATION

OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, mobilizes private capital and helps U.S. businesses to enter, grow and compete favorably in emerging markets.

GLOBAL POLICY FORUM TABLES ON CHARTS ON TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS

Includes general data and comparisons of the world’s largest transnational corporations, with GDPs of certain countries, sales and purchases of M&As.

AMERICAN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE ABROAD

Associations of American corporations operating abroad as well as  foreign companies operating in the U.S. There are about 115 AmChams in 102 countries and four regional organizations in Asia, Europe, the Gulf Countries and Latin America. AmChams represent members’ interests and concerns at government levels and in the development of trade policies.

UNCTAD PUBLICATIONS ON MNCS
Investment, enterprise and technology: Analysis of trends in FDI, enterprise and technology and its impact on development.
Also helpful for understanding international investment agreements, technology transfer and a more globalized economy. The site also contains annual world investment reports.

International business ethics

THE ETHICAL CORPORATION

Focuses on global ethical business and sustainability. The Ethical Corporation publishes a magazine 10 times a year and hosts several business conferences all over the world.  It has a network of writers from across the world and offers free online access to magazine, press releases and research. A subscription is required for country briefings and access to world’s largest archive of business sustainability articles.

CORPWATCH
Holds international corporations accountable and carries out non-profit investigative research to expose corporate wrongdoing and hold multinational corporations accountable.

CORPORATE RESEARCH PROJECT
A non-profit center that assists community, environmental and labor organizations in researching and analyzing companies and industries. The center provides information for activists to hold businesses accountable. The site includes profiles of specific companies or industries and analyses in various issues including agribusiness, mining, insurance and private prisons.

CROCODYL COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH ON CORPORATIONS

Facilitates collaborative research among NGOs, journalists, activists, whistleblowers and academics from around the world to produce profiles of the world’s most powerful corporations. Research results are made available to the public as a tool to help hold corporations accountable.

Media

THE NEWS MARKET
A global video distribution platform, used by more than 25,000 media outlets in 190 countries. The News Market allows members of the media to use its broadcast quality content including video for television, news sites or blogs. It’s a great source for B-roll from around the world.

MARKET RESEARCH WORLD
Offers a variety of online resources and material relevant to market research buyers, researchers, new-comers to the industry, students and individuals with an interest in the market research industry. It covers global industry news including the UK, North America, Europe and the rest of the world. It’s also a good source for company news and announcements

Research and development issues

THE WORLD BANK DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH GROUP
The World Bank provides financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. It’s a great source for research on development issues and trends around the world, as well as data on different developing nations.

THE WORLD BANK OPEN DATA
The data website of the World Bank makes extensive use of data from the national statistical systems of countries (“official” statistics.) Topics covered range from agriculture, energy and mining to the financial sector and science and development.

SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH NETWORK
Great source of global social science research. The e-Library has thousands of scholarly working papers and downloadable full text documents. It also includes the research papers of a number of fee-based  publications. The network publishes authors’ contact information and encourages direct communication with them.

World Trade Organization resources

WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION RESOURCES

The WTO produces a wide range of publications, focusing on various facets of its activities and analyzing the latest developments in world trade. Many publications may be downloaded free. It’s also a good source for international trade statistics and economic research and analysis. It produces the World Trade Report ,an annual publication that aims to deepen understanding about trends in trade, trade policy issues and the multilateral trading system.