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World trade statisticians set up plans to improve trade figures

08 February, 2011

About 200 statisticians from developed and developing countries participated in the Global Forum on Trade Statistics 2011. They discussed responses to policy makers' demands for more accurate statistics on trade in goods and services and defined plans for producing trade statistics in the future.

The full programme and podcasts are available here

All participants agreed that trade figures should be improved to better reflect the direct relation between global value chains, trade in goods and services, employment and the growing interdependence of economies.

Statisticians also highlighted the need to improve the relevance of international trade statistics by integrating existing trade information more closely with its economic, social, environmental and financial dimensions.

For this purpose, all countries are encouraged to develop a national register to identify enterprises active in international trade. rade data should be linked to these enterprise statistics with sufficient product detail for goods and services. Statisticians also recommended enhancing coordination between national stakeholders such as national statistical offices, central banks, customs authorities, and ministries.

They recommended connecting existing data sources, such as customs-based merchandise trade statistics, trade and business registers, economic census data, existing enterprise surveys and other administrative records. They also suggested reviewing existing manufacturing and services classifications to better reflect the changes in global production and the emergence of new products and business functions. Such correspondence tables would be especially relevant for measuring and understanding trade in value added and global value chains

Source - World Trade Organization.

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