Where Can I Find Trade Resources and Get Started?

Where do I start? 


An essential first step in the export process is ensuring your products are classified correctly.


Identifying your product’s Harmonized System (HS) code also helps to find the information most useful to your business needs as you look to trade. The Trade4MSME guide on How Do I Determine My Product’s HS Code, provides detailed information on how to find the right classification.


Once you know your HS Code, the internet offers a variety of online tools, platforms, and interfaces that provide relevant trade information.


One of these online resources is the Global Trade Helpdesk (GTH)


The GTH is a multi-agency initiative that facilitates market research for companies, by integrating trade and business information into a single online portal. It builds on existing trade information services being offered by several international organizations, enabling businesses to access a wealth of global trade resources.


 What types of information does the Global Trade Helpdesk offer? 


The GTH allows businesses to explore markets, assess requirements, navigate procedures, and identify partners through its four modules:


  • The first module offers an insight into the target market attractiveness and a snapshot of this market performance and access conditions.
  • The second module helps businesses to assess market access conditions, including tariffs, regulations, and private standards.
  • The third module offers overall guidance on domestic procedures, including time and cost to export, step-by-step procedures, and information related to intellectual property rights.
  • Finally, the fourth module provides relevant contact details for both potential buyers and trade support institutions.


Full details are at the GTH site.


What trade information tools are integrated into the GTH? 


  • Trade Map: analyses global trade flows, export/import performance, international demand, alternative markets, and the role of competitors.
  • Market Access Map: identifies customs tariffs, tariff rate quotas, trade remedies, regulatory requirements, and preferential regimes.
  • UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) TRAINS: provides data on non-tariff measures at the HS 6-digit product classification across more than 90 countries.
  • Export Potential Map: highlights markets, products, and suppliers with export potential, as well as opportunities for diversification in international markets.
  • Trade Information Portals: Ten countries have their trade information portals linked to the GTH. These portals visualize step-by-step guides to trade procedures.
  • Trade Facilitation Database: analyses the implementation status of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and provides information about trade procedures, enquiry points, customs brokers, and single windows.
  • Sustainability Map: highlights business strengths and sustainability credentials to access new markets and preferential credits.
  • ePing Alert notifies businesses about product requirements and facilitates dialogues on potential trade problems at earlier stages.
  • Regional Network Hubs: Business social networks can help businesses reach regional and global clients, suppliers, and investors. For example:
    • ConnectAmericas or
    • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) MSME Marketplace
  • Rules of Origin Facilitator: enables businesses to find import duties in foreign markets appropriate to their products, as well as identifying detailed rules of origin, potential duty savings and certification procedures.


Links to Supporting Information


Trade4MSMEs guide How Do I Determine My Product’s HS Code?


Global Trade Helpdesk Global Trade Helpdesk


Trade map Trade Map – Trade statistics for international business development


Market Access Map Market Access Map (macmap.org)


UNCTAD TRAINS TRAINS Online (unctad.org)


Export potential map Export Potential Map (intracen.org)   


Trade information portals Global Trade Helpdesk


Trade Facilitation database Traders | TFAD – Trade Facilitation Agreement Database


Sustainability Map Sustainability Map


ePing alert Home – ePing SPS&TBT platform (epingalert.org)


Connect Americas  About ConnectAmericas | ConnectAmericas


Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) MSME Marketplace APEC MSME Marketplace


Rules of Origin Facilitator Rules of Origin Facilitator


ITC ITC Benchmarking for Trade | ITC Benchmarking for Trade



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