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2 April 2015



The Wiesbaden Group on Business Registers is an international expert group under the umbrella of the UN Statistical Commission engaged in further development of business registers, survey frames and associated topics. The group provides a forum for the exchange of views and experiences and the conduct of joint work related to the development, maintenance and use of business registers. The group's work supports a more integrated approach to structural economic statistics and addresses new, globalization-related analytical needs. It is engaged with contemporary and emerging issues in the development and use of business registers. In particular, the Wiesbaden Group tackles forward-looking matters and identifies new challenges concerning business registers in the wider sense. The group analyses the changing nature and roles of the business register as the backbone of business statistics and a source of statistical data in its own right.

The Wiesbaden Group is an informal body and participation is voluntary. Participants are, however, required to contribute to the programme of the biannual meetings of the group. Although its mandate does not emanate from a formal body, the Wiesbaden Group reports to the UN Statistical Commission on its activities and recommendations of practices and standards.

Organization of work:

The group was established in 1986 under the name Roundtable of Business Survey Frames and the first meeting took place in Ottawa, Canada. In 2007 the group was renamed to the Wiesbaden Group on Business Registers to be in line with the naming of other UN City Groups. Until 2008 meetings were organized annually; after 2008 the group has met every second year.

In 2005 a Steering Group was set up. The Steering Group includes members of National Statistical offices and international organizations. Current members of the group are: Austria, France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States (BLS and CB), Eurostat, OECD and UNECE. Besides assisting the host of the upcoming meeting, the Steering Group ensures coordination with meetings on related topics, promotes the output of the Wiesbaden Group and actively engages the UN Statistical Commission and other senior management forums to promote the work of the Wiesbaden Group and seek their inputs regarding future activities.

The Wiesbaden Group meetings are organized every second year, alternating with the biennial meetings of the Group of Experts on Business Registers jointly organized by UNECE, Eurostat and OECD. The meetings of the Wiesbaden Group and the Expert Group complement each other. To ensure close coordination of work and avoiding duplication of efforts the Steering Group prepares and oversees the activities of both groups and ensures that the agendas of the meetings are coordinated in advance.

The meetings are organized around national progress reports and a number of sessions on selected substantial topics. National progress reports have also been collected for years when the Wiesbaden Group did not meet and disseminated via the Wiesbaden Group website (CIRCABC).

Products of the Wiesbaden Group:

Papers and proceedings of the Wiesbaden Group meetings are publicly available through the CIRCABC website:

The last meeting of the Wiesbaden Group, September 2014:

The last meeting of the Wiesbaden Group took place in Vienna, Austria, on 15-18 September 2014. It was organized by the Wiesbaden Steering Group and hosted by Statistics Austria.

Information about the meeting and submitted papers and reports will be made available on the meeting’s website,

The following countries and organizations participated in the meeting:

Albania, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Malaysia, TFYR of Macedonia, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Poland, Russian Federation, Serbia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia, African Union Commission, European Central Bank, Eurostat, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

The following topics were discussed:

  • Statistical Units
  • European/Worldwide Common Identification Number
  • Maintenance methods and policy
  • Managing response burden
  • Management relationships with administrative registers holders
  • Dissemination of register’s data
  • Improvement of the data quality as the main task of the holders of the business registers
  • Backbone role of the Business Register
  • Development and re-engineering of Business Registers
  • Quality of Business Registers
  • International Guidelines for Business Registers (work of the Task Force on SBR)
Point of contact for information on the 2014 meeting in Vienna:

Norbert Rainer
Registers, Classifications and Methods Division
Statistics Austria
Tel: +43-1-71128-7703

Previous meeting of the Wiesbaden group September 2012:

The 2012 meeting of the Wiesbaden Group took place in Washington, DC, 17-21 September 2012, hosted and organized by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the U.S. Census Bureau (CB).

The proceedings of the meeting are available on

The following countries and organizations participated in the meeting:

Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Republic of Belarus, Russian Federation, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom, United States of America, Eurostat, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United nations Statistical Division (UNSD) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

The following topics were discussed:

  • Quality, consistency and dissemination of Business Register data
  • Business register profiling of multinational enterprises
  • Metadata and Business Registers
  • Technology innovation and Business Registers
  • Business Registers as sampling frames
  • International guidelines for Business Registers
  • Business Registers and business statistics in emerging and developing countries

Point of contact for more information about the Wiesbaden Group:

Shirin Anne Ahmed
Division Chief
Economic Planning and Coordination Division
U.S. Census Bureau
Tel: 301-763-2558

Reporting to the UN Statistical Commission: