Week of July 31, 2000
  Editor's Choice Web Pick
   of the Week

'Trade Compass Daily Brief':
An Online Piece of the International News Pie

OK, real estate may be a local business. Unquestionably, though, global business conditions are driving a lot of real estate decisions.

Finding solid global news sources, though, can present a major obstacle. That's particularly true where this reviewer is based: in the U.S. -- where media outlets feed us a ton more info about the breathless, teen-queen exploits Britney Spears than they do about insignificant piffles like say, the ASEAN and Mercosur pacts or the EU's progress.

Well, baby, hit me one more time - with global information, that is. In our recent research, we came across a solid source: "The Trade Compass Daily Brief."

Happily, the site seems to know what it's trying to do and it does just that - which, as the online explanation goes, is to provide "a concise daily summary of news, information and regulatory issues that directly affect companies and individuals doing business in the global marketplace."

(The onsite Web address is www.brief.tradecompass.com, but that address doesn't always work, we've found. The more surefire way is to go to the parent site, www.tradecompass.com, click on the "Products and Services" option and then click on "Daily Brief" under "News and Publications.")

'Brief' Is Brief . . . and to the Point

"The Daily Brief" is by no means voluminous (and as we're all nostril-deep in information, sheer bulk is rapidly becoming a liability).

The "Trade Compass Daily Brief" that we perused had four stories. They give you the general drift of the coverage. The four focused on :

  • The ASEAN nations' decision to reopen (late this year) the ministerial-level discussions with the EU that have been stalled since 1997.
  • India's proposal of a bilateral investment promotion treaty with Syria, including "mutually beneficial" tariff structures to boost trade in some areas between the two nations.
  • China's fears over how North Korea's entry into the ASEAN Regional Forum could obstruct the Chinese economic agenda.
  • The criticism that Australia is getting for failing to diversify away from traditional raw materials sold to the Japanese.
That's the kind of information that ultimately shapes some companies' decisions about their real estate assets. If that's your cup of tea, you can sign up for the free newsletter by simply typing in your e-mail address. (You can, of course, instead visit the site as the urge hits you.)

Deeper Data Mean Show Them the Money

The smoothly navigating "Trade Compass Daily Brief" site also includes a searchable archive (either by key word or by date).

The sources of the newsletter's stories are also a reputable bunch, including "Asia Pulse," Kyodo News and "partner sites" including IPAnet and Brazil-based InsidEX.

Some decidedly global users, though, will likely find some of the most tantalizing-looking links a bit frustrating - which is to say, here's where you're supposed to show them the money (not that there's anything wrong with that). For example, only users who are paid subscribers to the site - and, therefore, get more data goodies -- can access the "Trade Leads" information.

We aren't in the business of recommending that our readers fork over cash for products. Nonetheless, this site's parent, Trade Compass, has acquired a pretty solid reputation. The Trade Compass web site, which focuses on "electronic products and services that facilitate international commerce over the Internet," has been online since 1995. And "The Trade Compass Daily Brief" has some 10,000 subscribers, according to the site.

This reviewer, at least for the time being, is sticking with the free plan, which certainly seems to add valuable information. It's to the point. Moreover, it's a bit ahead of the curve in sussing out the directions in which the global business winds are blowing.

And for far too many of us, it fills in a missing piece of the international news pie.



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