The MLB issued a press release on 6/1 detailing which 16 countries received invitations to compete at the Qualifying Round games, set to take place in Fall 2012. A snip:
The Qualifying Round games will take place in Fall 2012 and each of the four pools will feature a six-game modified double-elimination format. The composition of the pools will be determined once the Qualifying Round venues are selected and will be based on geographical location, competitive balance and regional rivalries.
The winners from each qualifying pool will advance into the World Baseball Classic tournament, scheduled for March 2013. Those four teams will join the 12 countries - Australia, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela - that receive automatic invitations based on their performance in the 2009 tournament.
The 16 teams that were sent invitations: Brazil, Canada*, Chinese Taipei*, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama*, Philippines, South Africa*, Spain, and Thailand. (* 2008 WBC participants).
There's also a bit about the venue selection process:
World Baseball Classic Inc. also announced the commencement of the venue selection process for hosts of the four Qualifying Round pools, as well as the 2013 World Baseball Classic games. Parties including MLB Clubs, governments, international federations, promotional and event companies are invited to formally express interest in hosting a pool, or pools, of the tournament. Interested parties will be provided a formal bid document including detailed requirements and bid submission guidance. WBCI welcomes bids from bidding groups who can deliver a strong and compelling bid that effectively combines both public and private support for promoting and hosting part of the World Baseball Classic. The bidding process for the Qualifying Round venues is expected to conclude by September 2011 with the venues for the World Baseball Classic tournament to be finalized by December 2011.
Thanks to fighting ham for the link.