Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Economist's free online country briefings reports section.

The Economist's free online country briefings reports section.

One specific secondary resource that I find useful is The Economist's free online country briefings reports section. These profiles combine forecasts, political and economic outlooks, fact sheets with basic data,
economic data, and ten economic indicators over four years from The Economist Intelligence Unit with recent news reports.

Country Profile: Sri Lanka

Country Profile: Thailand

I would categorize Canadian trade commissioners abroad as being part of primary sources of data as they would be available for interviews and could reveal trends and current trade enquiries in their region. Of course they could also reference and reveal secondary and primary resources available to meet any queries.

OECD, World Bank and market reports from DFAIT would be secondary research resources. Primary resources consist of interviews and surveys of suppliers, competitors, distributors, and customers.

The advantages of primary research include reliability, answers to specific questions are given which relate to trade research in question, and validity of information is currently useful. The disadvantages include possibly difficult to conduct and gather research, could be expensive thus implicating cost/value budget and could take a long time exceeding the time constraints of the decisions to be made.

One would use primary research to fine tune information that has been gathered to confirm and clarify points of possible dispute in terms of suppliers, distributors and customers needs and preferences . For example if secondary resources do not reveal an accurate, complete or meaningful snapshot of a possible target market primary research is the next natural step . Primary data collection is usually reserved for final stages of research where all indicators suggest time/costs value support the added cost and alleviates decisions-based risks and uncertainties.

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