You can start your import/export business at home with a telephone. You'll need a file system, business cards, and a machine to answer the phone calls. Once you get going, you'll want a cable address or a telex hook-up.
And you'll need a classy letterhead. Until you establish personal contacts, it is your letterhead that represents you. Make it look professional, possibly embossed or two-color, or gold leafed. Have it printed on light-weight paper for airmail correspondence, but don't have airmail envelopes printed. You'll have a lot of domestic correspondence too.
More than office equipment, you need the determination to make it work. It will be slow at first, and you'll need to plan your moves, make contacts and SELL YOURSELF. But once you make a few sales and sign several exclusive contracts worth money, you'll know your dedication was worthwhile.