At the Special Libraries Association conference this year, I saw some great presentations. One of my favorites was from Karen White the Senior Librarian & Team Lead at USAID. The United States Agency for International Development provides economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States. Karen's presentation on researching emerging markets was chock-full of excellent free resources for examining these growing markets. Country Commercial Guides from the United States Commercial Service and the US Department of Commerce is my favorite new resource. Create an account (free to US students and researchers), then select your country/region of interest and choose from 18 industries. It's a short report, but it covers the market size, imports, exports, and information on the opportunities in the country and even banks that are loaning to US companies.
Doing Business 2011 from the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank compares business regulations that enhance and constrain business activity in 183 economies.
Global Competitiveness Report is put out by the World Economic Forum. Their Global Competitiveness Index is based on 12 pillars of competitiveness. The pillars include infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, labor market efficiency, technological readiness, business sophistication, and innovation. I liked the country highlights that provide a nice breakdown of countries by stage of development.
Corruption Perceptions Index from Transparency International ranks more than 150 countries in terms of perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys. The map is the featured image here.
Thank you, Karen for giving us some great free resource to check out.