Import From China Business

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A practical guide for starting a small business

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Trade Leads & the Internet

Trade Leads whether you are trying to find foreign markets, foreign buyers, foreign suppliers or foreign products are vital to the import export business. Without Trade Leads, importers and exporters from China or from any other country will never be able to launch their businesses.

Trade Leads

Trade Leads for the U.S. and Canada

To help narrow the focus, begin your trade leads searching process by concentrating on a country.  If you have decided that North America is where you want to conduct your search, here are some good sources to begin for the U.S. and Canada: brings together resources from across the U.S. Government to assist American businesses in planning their international sales strategies and succeed in today's global marketplace.  There is a wealth of information by industry and the location and details of U.S. trade shows.


Strategis is the Canadian government's trade assistance website that offers international trade information.  You can locate the top 10 markets for many products using this web tool.


Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an independent U.S. Government agency responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior US policymakers.  Its website allows the business person to find basic information on any country in the world.

SBA Office for International Trade

As SBA's office for the support of small business international trade development, the Office of International Trade encourages and assists small business exports.  There are a number of on line resources available here.

Michigan State University's International Business Center (CIBER)

The International Business Center (IBC) in The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University was designated in 1990 as a National Resource Center by the U.S. Department of Education (i.e., a Center for International Business Education and Research).  The site offers information on international markets, trade leads and links to global markets.


TradePort is a repository of free information and resources for businesses involved in global trade.  It was created and supported by an alliance of public and private sector trade promotion service organizations in California in 1996.  It assists businesses and their foreign counterparts in bilateral trade and investment opportunities. The site has information on markets, how to guides, resources listings as well as trade leads in the Southern California region.

Trade Leads Around of the World

There are literally hundreds of trade leads sites.  Here are some key ones to begin your search for trade leads on an international basis.

United Nations (UN)

The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security.  Its goal is to develop friendly relations among nations and promote social progress, better living standards and human rights.  UN's website has an extensive resource section with valuable databases and publications.



Europages has helped businesses on the European market by becoming the B2B reference tool for 25 years.  It has over half a million companies in 36 countries in its directory.  It offers search in 26 languages.


Clear Freight

ClearFreight, Inc. is in the Freight Forwarding Industry.   The website contains links to various Trade Leads Databases as well as Government Trade Leads and Opportunities.  It is also a good resource for shipping forms and US Customs.



Beaucoup is a search engine for free information.  It allows you to conduct country specific searches.


Trade Show News Network

The Trade Show News Network (TSNN) is an online resource for the trade show, exhibition and event industry. The site boasts 22,000 global events, 2000 supplier information and 15,500 venue listings.

Finding Suppliers and Products to Sell

When it comes to importing from China or from any other country, there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of products to choose from.   Here are a few online resources to help you narrow down your choices:

Import-Export Bulletin

Import-Export Bulletin is a B2B portal that connects buyers, sellers and investors from around the world.

International Trade Commission (ITC)

ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations with a goal of helping businesses in developing countries to become more competitive in global markets and speeding economic development.  The site allows you to search trade leads by country. You can use it to drill down to a country's trade promotional office (TPO).


EXPORT911 is a business and educational website focusing on international business.  The useful site provides in-depth information on export-import marketing, management, letters of credit, export cargo insurance, shipping, logistics, manufacturing, purchasing, bar codes, and many other topics.