Following are resources organized by information type, which include a) country profiles, b) country statistics, and c) trade information.
To get started:
Also, be sure and take advantage of our free subscription to the Wall Street Journal!
Business Insights: Global provides country profiles for every UN recognized country.
From the home page, choose "Country" from the drop-down menu and type in the country you are researching -- be sure and change the search option to "Country" because the default option is by "Company."
Business Source Complete offers access to country risk reports from the Political Risk Yearbook, which provides select detailed reports of 100 countries, covering risk analysis and forecast of doing business in the country, country conditions for trade and investment, and country background information.
CIA World Factbook is one of the best starting points to find comprehensive country overviews with the most updated datasets. It provides information on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military and transnational issues for 267 world entities.
Country Commercial Guides detail key information on doing business in a number of countries, offering a general market overview, and covering challenges, opportunities, entry strategies, the political environment, leading industries for U.S. exports, trade regulations, customs, and standards.
IBISWorld is a collection of U.S. industry market research and U.S. risk ratings. It contains statistics in the section titled "International Economy and Commodities" within the "Industry Risk Ratings."
Click on the "Industry Risk Ratings" button in the upper right-hand corner, then select the economy or commodity you would like to explore.
NationMaster offers a massive compilation of country statistics from various credible sources such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the OECD, and the U.S. Census Bureau. Each country's data cover a wise range of topics, including agriculture, background, conflict, cost of living, crime, culture , disasters, economy , education, energy, environment, geography, health, industry, labor, language, lifestyle, media, military, people, religion, sports, terrorism, transport, travel, and weather.
Data are searchable by country, predefined group (i.e. emerging markets, heavily indebted countries, primary religion), data category, and popular statistics (e.g. education spending, public debt, etc.). It also allows users to pick any two countries and display the date side-by-side for comparison.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a group of countries that seeks to promote democracy and the market economy. The statistics available in OECD iLibrary cover topics including environment, health, economic projects, education, finance, information and communication technology, national accounts, productivity, public sector, tourism, and many more. Datasets can be exported in several formats or charts or graphs can be made on the site.
Statista aggregates statistical data from thousands of sources including market researchers, trade organizations, scientific journals, and government databases. Their "Country Reports" provide access to relevant key figures of country-specific data compiled by analysts for 150 countries which includes information on consumers and the economy.
Export.gov provides in-depth market reports on 23 industries in more than 70 countries, presenting current demand and market trends, market entry and barriers, major competitors, registration processes, trade events, government links, and market statistics. The "Exports, Jobs, and Foreign Investment" series details various effects of international trade on the economy of each of the 50 states in a concise, two-page report.
GlobalEDGE was created by international business professionals, researchers, teachers and students to provide comprehensive collections of international business and trade information, data, research tools, learning resources, and a directory of additional resources on global business activities.
The "Global Insights" section covers trade information on more than 200 countries, 11 major trade blocs, 50 U.S. states, and more than 20 industry sectors. CORE (a diagnostic tool for self-determining a company's readiness of entry to global business, DIBS (Database of International Business Statistics), and other research tools are found in the "Tools and Data" section.
World Trade Organization deals with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure the flow of trade.