Most of the data needed for decision making in the international arena is publicly available- you just need to know where to look for it, how to process the data and understand what you can (and can no) benefit from it
The big-data revolution enables commercial and economic research in ways that were previously impossible. Satellite images enables real-time tracking after the development of infrastructure, agriculture and industry in many parts of the world. AIS systems based on satellite navigation enables the tracking of ships, airplanes and products. Software systems enable tracking of social media and Channels to analyze consumer trends.
Many international organizations publish valuable data on their public websites, such as the UN, World Bank as well as academic and research institutes.
Research based on these databases can unfold a new target markets, discover new potential customers for a product and portrait a "trade map" comprising regulatory and logistic aspects relevant to the product which is of interest to your company.