International Business: Country profiles

Suggestions for international market research, and finding information about different countries.
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Why use these?

Use country profiles when:

  • You're not already familiar with the country and need background information
  • You need expert information on current conditions in the country

These profiles will help you understand the history and current conditions in a country, what is its political structure, its economic strengths, and more.  Although these profiles are generally not long, they usually go well beyond the extreme brevity of the CIA World Factbook.

Databases and links for country profiles

The databases and links below offer country profiles that are regularly updated, mostly annually, some more frequently. Some are fee-based library subscription databases; some are free ...

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)

The EIU is a well-known provider of information and analysis about countries; we have access to their content through databases from several vendors.  Unfortunately, the reports often get "sliced and diced" into sections in these databases!  Once you're in one of the databases, usually you will get more manageable results by searching on 'eiu and country-name'. 

The EIU publications are:  ViewsWire, Country Data, Country Monitor, and Country Reports.

Culture & communication

Finding information about a country's culture and how they 'do business' is relatively easy.  Below are several resources (including a couple of databases) which include information explicitly about this in their reports. 

In addition, we have lots of books on the subject.   Some are more general, and include discussion of many countries or an entire region.  Others may be about a single country.  Roger Axtell and Terri Morrison are two authors who have written extensively in this area.  In addition, here are some subject headings that you might use when searching in MARQCAT:

–   business communication
–   business etiquette
–   business travel
–   communication, international
–   intercultural communication

Finally, the Oxford Handbook of International Business has a full chapter on culture and human resource management that may be helpful.

CountryWatch Country Reviews

I'm pointing out this vendor because they cover many countries, and their reports are quite decent.  And from the link below you can go directly to these reports (in the Business Source Premier database), and begin searching.