Public Libraries Briefcase

Public Libraries Briefcase

No. 2, 4th Quarter 2002

Links revised October 2015

Public Libraries Briefcase is a quarterly column written by members of the BRASS Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee. Our second column, written by Luise Weiss, is a selected web bibliography of importing resources for international trade. We hope that this column will be of use to public librarians working with business materials.

Importing Resources - Trade Leads

Written by Luise Weiss, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY


When planning an importing seminar with members of a Long Island industrial association, one importer announced, "What we need for trade leads is an international Thomas Register." Thankfully, I could inform him that Thomas Register has an international component and that there are other sources of international trade leads as well. For public libraries whose budget plans often do not include international trade directories, these free or nearly free resources have proven very welcome for locating trade leads.

Thomas Global Register

On you can search for over 500,000 industrial suppliers, organized by 10,500 industrial product classifications from 26 countries in 9 languages. For example, a search on “pumps” listed 2,495 suppliers in 137 product classifications.

Dun’s Global Directory

D&B’s Global Directory provides a free directory with basic information on over 75 million global businesses . In addition, each month a different country is featured and information about the country’s economic, political and commercial makeup is included. More detailed information on companies is available with a credit card or through a subscription service.


While Kompass does have a subscription service, they do allow some free searching on their site providing product, contact and other information for 1.7 million companies worldwide with over 23 million key product and service references and 3.2 million executive names. A search for “bone china” resulted in information on over 227 companies with addresses and, in some cases, links to web sites.


Billed as a European "yellow pages" and a "business-to-business" directory, this free site offers information on over 500,000 European businesses in 30 countries wishing to promote their products and/or services. Twenty-five activity or sector headings include transport services, energy and raw materials, construction and public works, information technology and banking and finance.


Importers have found that links to Chambers of Commerce and Foreign Trade Commission websites have also provided links to trade sources.


Eurochambres provides links to 37 European National Chamber Organizations and 1500 regional and local Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Worldwide Chambers of Commerce

Site includes a directory of 10,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.


Some Foreign Trade Commission webpages also provide access to company information. The following either provide online directories or information about free export directories available.

Austrian Federal Economic Chamber

Cyprus Embassy Trade Center

Hong Kong Trade Development Council

Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation

Mexico - Bancomext

Thailand Department of Export Promotion