Commerce Web site aims to boost small-business exports

Commerce Web site aims to boost small-business exports

The Commerce Department this week launched a Web service aimed at connecting U.S. businesses with buyers and partners around the world.

The site, at BuyUSA.com, went online Tuesday and is designed to help foreign buyers and distributors do business with small and midsize U.S. companies. The service lets users conduct continuous searches for potential buyers by business segment. It notifies users of a match by e-mail. U.S. companies create listings of products and services they offer, and international customers can post information on what they want to buy.

'BuyUSA.com could substantially increase the number of smaller U.S. firms that export, and this is important news for the U.S. economy,' said Maria Cino, assistant secretary for the U.S. Commercial Service.

U.S. companies pay a fee'starting at $300 a year'to subscribe to the service. Foreign companies register for free. BuyUSA.com also provides export counseling and matchmaking and promotion services for sellers.

IBM Corp.'s Global Services division built and provides Web hosting for the site at its center in Raleigh, N.C. The company also provides design help, training, application development and maintenance. The service runs on the IBM DB/2 Universal Database, IBM Unix workstations and WebSphere Commerce Suite software.

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