The Global Forum is a market place for sharing information on trade statistics among its producers and users. The information consists of the latest events, projects, processes, publications and research studies. These web pages give an impression of the wide range of institutes working in this field classified here as either National Government Institutes, International Organizations, or Research and Academic Institutes.
The collection and compilation of international trade statistics are done by customs offices, national statistical offices, central banks or ministries. These are the basic producers of the data. The primary users of the trade data are also government institutes, such as the ministries of Trade, Economy or Planning, or the national trade promotion boards. The following institutes have been active in the new developments of trade statistics: Austrian National Bank, Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (Brazil), Statistics Canada, ISTAT (Italy), Statistics Netherlands, and the US International Trade Commission.
At the international level, institutes are more involved in regulation and coordination of international trade statistics, like setting of standards, preparing compilation guidance and disseminating internationally comparable trade statistics. International organizations that are active in the development of trade statistics are the United Nations Statistics Division, OECD, WTO, Eurostat, UNCTAD, IMF, WCO, FAO and the World Bank. At the regional level, trade has often been an important policy issue accompanied by some harmonization of community trade statistics. Examples are ASEAN, COMESA, ALADI and ECOWAS.
The relevance of trade statistics are best shown through its use in policy analysis. Research and academic institutes are at the forefront of such analysis and studies. For instance, supported by funds from the World Bank many institutes produced reports on the effects of the global financial crisis on trade in 2010. These studies almost unanimously demonstrated the interconnectivity of global production through its value chains and stimulated the further development of trade in value-added and the relation of trade and employment. Institutes which have been active in the various studies are – among many others – Duke University (USA), MIT (USA), the Vienna Institute for Economic Research (Austria), the University of Groningen (Netherlands) and IDE-JETRO (Japan).