Friday, May 28, 2010

Bibliotheca Alexandrina || The Library of Alexandria

Photo: Plaza of Bibilotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt.  Bibliotheca Alexandrina 24 Sept. 2007 Creative Commons image.
The BA or Library of Alexandrina built in 2002 and is regarded as an attempt to rekindle of the brilliance of the ancient Library which was partially destroyed in 48 BC and completely destroyed by the the 6th century AD.  From the photographs it appears to be a stunning building, and although it does not have a dedicated trade libary or collection, I thought it was worth posting about.
Wikipedia suggests that it will never be funded properly and will always be subject to censorship.  Certainly the trade resources seem a little dated.
It has four objectives and aspires to be:
  • The world's window on Egypt
  • Egypt's window on the world
  • A leading institution of the digital age
  • A centre for learning, tolerance, dialogue and understanding
In accordance with the third of these objectives the BA has developed a Digital Assets Repository (DAR) to create and miantain the Library's digital collections.   There are over 115,000 books available through the DAR.  These include 178 titles in Arabic on 'foreign trade'.
Tomorrow the BA will host a conference entitled: The Legal and Economic Aspects of the Development of Seaborne Trade in the Euro-Med Region.  This is being held on the occasion of the establishment of the Free Trade Area for Euro-Med based on the Barcelona Process and the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP).

PS.   There is a tribute to Paul Reynolds  on the Exportersblog posted yesterday:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mineral export index

Can any information specialist out there help with finding a "Mineral export index"?   There are lots of energy indexes but a search hasn't produced a mineral export index.  Any ideas?

And BTW following on from the Quiz post, here's a question for you?

Q. What is  the world’s largest harbour for supplying coal?

A. selaW htouS ni tsaoc tsae eht no eltsacsweN troP s’ailartsuA

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What's in a name?

Obviously plenty when it's 'trade'.   The word dates from the 14th century and it came from the Old English tredan = to tread.   It is a little like the Old High German trata meaning track or course.
There are so many uses of the word trade or trades:
  • the rag trade meaning the clothing industry
  • terms of trade as in the ratio of the prices a country pays for its imports to the prices it receives for its exports
  • 'vast crude finds excite oil trade' - presumably all the people involved; drillers, venture capitalists, oil companies etc.
  • international trade - the selling and buying of goods across national borders
  • trades - used on the stock exchange
  • a trade as in bricklaying
  • trade wind - one of the prevailing winds which facilitated the passage of ships carrying goods for trading.
There are almost certainly lots more with slightly different shade of meaning, and you can see that some have a core of that original meaning.  For example when you choose a trade like bricklaying, you choose a path for your immediate employment future.  Or even in 'international trade' there is a track to follow conforming to the rules, Incoterms and so on.

Just thought I would share with you some of my random thoughts...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Country Quizzes

Ever needed country quizzes for your colleagues as an activity at a Professional development session? Or even for a party?  Go no further than this page on the New Zealand School of Export website:

It is being added to each week or fortnight and eventually will be a compendium of Quizzes, or a Quire of Quizzes!   The latest quiz is on Greece - very topical given Greece's current woes.