Country profiles

Here's a selection of websites that provide country profile guides. When using these sites we need, of course, to think critically about their validity. How accurate are they? How up-to-date is the information? Do they have a cultural bias? This said, they may provide insights into cultural differences, customs and ways of doing business that business people and students may well find useful.

If you have any experience of using the sites listed, or if you know of any resources that should be added to this list, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Click on the preview thumbnails to view the websites.

Passport to trade

This website offers a series of country profiles that have information on a range of topics of relevance to employees of global organisations or students of international trade. According to the website managers the information “has been compiled by … leading experts on global business culture who have many years of practical international experience.” The profiles include information on

  • Business culture
  • Being a foreigner in the country in question
  • International business
  • Educational standards
  • Cultural taboos

Business Culture

This provides business culture knowledge for 31 countries with a focus on with social media marketing. The information is aimed at SMEs and students and includes 

  • Business Structures
  • Management Styles
  • Communication Styles
  • Meetings & Team Working
  • Tips.

Pocket Cultures

This crowd-sourced website is organised into the following 3 sections:

Topics of the World
Here you'll find articles and links about specific aspects of world cultures broken down into topics such as food, clothing, music, language, etc.

Blogs of the World
Here a selection of blogs from different countries written by locals or expats is featured. The intention is to provide accounts from people who have experienced the countries first hand.

People of the World
Real life stories and interviews on themes that relate to living across cultures.

If It Were My Home

This interesting site that allows you to compare the living conditions in different countries using key indicators such as life expectancy, employment, incomes and so on. The comparisons are based on information gleaned from the CIA’s World Factbook.

CIA World Factbook

As the name suggest, the CIA’s World Factbook offers information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. Use the interactive maps to access information on the country you’re interested in.

The Observatory of Economic Complexity

The Observatory of Economic Complexity is a tool that provides a visual representation of countries’ economies and the products they import and export.

Executive Planet

This site offers business culture guides for international travellers.

6 comments on “Country profiles
  1. Sue Annan says:

    There are some interesting apps too. I like GMT and CultureCompass

  2. Carl Dowse says:

    Thanks, Sue. I have the Hofstede-based CultureGPS Pro app installed on my tablet but it hasn’t been updated for a long time so your suggestions are very welcome. CultureCompass seems to be a newer version of the same app from Hofstede’s company. So I can see now why my app hasn’t been updated! It looks a lot slicker and more importantly includes all six dimensions. Do you have a link for the GMT app?

  3. Thanks for this. Very useful.

  4. Carl Dowse says:

    Thanks, Virginia. Good to know it’s of some help.

  5. Sue Annan says:

    Yes. It’s called Greet, Meet, Treat or Business Culture and Etiquette by country. I have the French version, as many of my BE students are French, and the German one.

  6. Carl Dowse says:

    Got it! Thanks, Sue. I’ll take a look at the one for Germany.

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