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Birmingham City Council

International Services

Business and Learning offers a range of services to help you trade with the rest of the world. Resources available cover approximately 100 countries in depth, and include statistics of major economies, lists of companies, detailed company information and guides to regulations for doing business in another country. Please select from the following options to find out more.

Company Information - International

If you are looking for details of companies, products and suppliers, corporate family trees, importers and exporters, agents or chambers of commerce members, Business and Learning can help.

We have available a wide range of hard copy business directories including Kompass for selected countries, which give names and addresses of companies, basic financial information such as turnover and assets, and lists of products and services.

Also, we offer free access to the Kompass database covering 70 countries world-wide.

For information on importers we have the series International Directories of Importers for Africa, Asia and Pacific, Europe, Middle East, and North and South America.

Annual Reports for some International companies can be accessed via company websites and the CAROL online database, using dedicated business computers in Business and Learning.

Contact Business and Learning for further details.

Doing Business with other Countries

Business and Learning has a collection of resources to help you identify and develop business opportunities and avoid pitfalls. These include economic profiles such as OECD Surveys which illustrate climates for doing business, together with guides to individual countries with details on business practice, regulations, trade and investment opportunities and market briefings.

A major series is available published by Kogan Page, supported by UK Trade and Investment, the government organisation for helping companies achieve their export potential. This series of Global Market Briefings will help you to establish and develop links with overseas markets. They are a clear and concise guide to business practice and trade and investment opportunities and are an invaluable reference source contained in one volume.

Visit Business and Learning to see the full range of information available. Photocopies can be made (subject to copyright restrictions) of some resources.

Contact Business and Learning for further details.

Economies Worldwide

If you need economic data on economies throughout the world, from basic indicators to detailed economic profiles, Business and Learning can help.

  • OECD economic surveys for selected countries
  • EUROSTAT statistical publications
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports covering selected issues and statistical appendices for many countries of the world.
  • A range of special reports and journals from the United Nations
  • Selection of individual Statistical Yearbooks mainly produced by the statistical offices of each country are kept on file for 5 years.

Visit Business and Learning to see the full range of information available. Photocopies can be made (subject to copyright restrictions) for a nominal charge.

Contact Business and Learning for further details.

General Reference

Business and Learning has a collection of world and regional reference books that give detailed information on economic affairs, governments, demographics, other useful facts and figures and names and addresses of international organisations. These resources include the Europa World Year Book and International Who's Who, a Yearbook of International organisations, world fact pocket books and much more. Photocopies can be made (subject to copyright restrictions) for a nominal charge.

Also available is a reference collection of dictionaries on selected European languages to help you when using some foreign language material in our International collection.

Contact Business and Learning for further details.

Exporting and Importing

If you want to import or export goods to any area of the world and need to know the basic requirements and regulations Business and Learning can help. A reference collection of basic resources covering exporting and importing regulations and procedures, tariffs, customs and excise, trade policies and agreements, trade blocs and transport of goods is available for you to use.

Croner's reference books are a major source of information guiding you through the appropriate procedures in general and country by country.

Tariff and customs & excise information is covered by the Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom.

Visit Business and Learning to see the full range of resources. Photocopies can be made (subject to copyright restrictions) of some resources for a nominal charge.

Contact Business and Learning for further details.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Reports

The IMF is an international organisation of 184 member countries which was established to promote international monetary co-operation, exchange stability and orderly exchange arrangements, to foster economic growth and high levels of employment and to provide temporary financial assistance to help ease balance of payments adjustments.

Business and Learning has limited access to the IMF website, a comprehensive resource that answers to many levels of information need. At the most general level it offers a summary of the organisation's roles and functions. There are listings of the member countries, the senior (elected or appointed) governing personnel, the organisation's structural tree showing the relationship and communication hierarchies between its various branches and its constitution in a set of Articles of Agreement.

Business and Learning makes available hard copies of Selected Issues & Statistical Appendices reports, covering a vast range of specialist aspects of a country's monetary and economic/fiscal health from currency supply, to market growth, to inflation, to debt repayment etc. Reports are usually updated every eighteen months and we aim to make the latest two editions of each available for reference.

Contact Business and Learning for further details.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation that assists countries worldwide with global economic issues and produces numerous publications, of which the following are available in Business and Learning.

Economic Reviews provide economic data on the subject country, which includes any current topics of special interest and detailed statistical information. The organisation issues several each year covering 30 member countries and a number of non-member ones. Business and Learning subscribes to selected countries in hard copy. The latest two editions of this resource are kept on file for reference only.

  • Main Economic Indicators is a monthly periodical that provides statistical data on The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 30 member countries and a number of non-member countries. The statistics available include national accounts, retail sales, consumer prices, industrial production, employment and unemployment, interest rates, balance of payments, and foreign trade. A 10 year file of this publication is available, for reference only, in hard copy.
  • Economic Outlook is published twice a year and includes statistics and projections of developments in non-member countries, particularly Central and Eastern Europe and selected Asian and Latin American countries. The organisation publishes projected data, two years ahead, which includes employment, output and prices. These forecasts are based on a review of each country, concentrating on economic problems and the effect of international developments. The publication is purchased in print format. This resource is available for reference only and is kept on file for several years.

All of the above resources are available for reference only in Business and Learning but pages can be photocopied (subject to copyright regulations) for a nominal charge.

Contact Business and Learning for further details.

Croners Import/Export

Croner's Reference Book for Exporters

Croner's Reference Book for Exporters is a subscription service providing a comprehensive guide to exporting goods to 162 countries. At the core of the package is a loose-leaf manual split into two sections. Section One provides general guidance on exporting procedures including export control, customs procedures, export payments and certificates of origin.

Section Two of the manual provides individual country information, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. It provides vital information including principal port, currency, local Chamber of Commerce, banks and documentation requirements.
All of the information in the loose-leaf manual is also provided online and on CD-ROM.

Updates, newsletters and the monthly Trade International Digest help subscribers to stay informed of any new developments. Bulletins provide in-depth analysis of specific topics of interest.

  • Croner's Reference Book for Importers

    Another subscription service, this provides subscribers with essential guidance on all the relevant documentation and regulations for importing goods. In one volume it covers import controls, exchange control, VAT and marking of goods. Customs and excise, transhipment and insurance are also covered.

    The manual includes a country section, which provides guidance on importing goods from over 60 countries. Topics such as political background, trade agreements, climate and dialling codes are covered.

    As with the exporters manual, all of the information in the loose-leaf manual is also provided online and on CD-ROM. Updates and newsletters help subscribers to stay informed of any new developments. Bulletins provide in-depth analysis of specific topics of interest.

Subscription to the two services includes:

  • Loose-leaf manuals Updated every month.
  • CD-ROM All the information in the manuals is available on CD-ROM.

  • Online The online version provides 24-hour access to the full text of the manual plus a newsletter archive.

  • Trade International Digest A monthly magazine for exporters.

  • Exporter's Briefing This fortnightly newsletter keeps subscribers informed about the latest news and developments in exporting.

  • Exporter's Bulletin Six times a year, subscribers receive a bulletin which focuses on specific topics of interest.

  • Helpline Subscribers have unlimited access to the Business Support Helpline, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

  • Importer's Briefing This monthly newsletter keeps subscribers informed about the latest news and developments in importing.

  • Importer's Bulletin Four times a year, subscribers receive a bulletin which focuses on specific topics of interest.