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Trade statisticians around the world are working tirelessly in getting the numbers right, but are we measuring the right numbers? This is the overarching theme of this Global Forum “Measuring Global Trade – Do we have the right numbers?” organized jointly by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat), and in collaboration with the World Trade Organization (WTO). The forum will take place on 2-4 February 2011 in Geneva at the WTO.

In February this year, revised international recommendations for measuring the trade in goods and services were adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission. They are being published in International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions 2010 and Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services 2010. The new recommendations take a firm step towards further integration of trade in goods and services, and linking trade and enterprise statistics.

While countries are starting to adjust their systems, it is timely to give direction and emphasis on these adjustments, which will require changes in institutional arrangements and may take some time to accomplish. This forum is meant to underline the need of policy makers for trade statistics that are policy relevant and insightful as against the challenges of the statisticians to make it happen. This Global Forum is expected to reach conclusions on the way forward in producing high quality trade statistics which are relevant for analyzing issues of globalization and trade policy.

Invitation: English, French, Spanish

Provisional agenda: English, French, Spanish

Opening statement and Keynote address
Measuring Global Trade - Do we have the right numbers?
Implementing the improved methodological guidelines for the better measurement and analysis of trade flows in the global economy
Data sources for the compilation of merchandise trade statistics and trade in services statistics
Goods for processing abroad
Commercial presence abroad - Foreign affiliates statistics, Foreign Direct Investment and Multi-national enterprise statistics
Towards an integrated approach: institutional arrangements and the dissemination of international trade in goods and services statistics.
Broadening the horizon: Integration of trade in goods and services statistics in data compilation; linking trade and business statistics
Findings and conclusions Adoption of the main conclusions for the Way Forward

Reference documents: Available here

For further information please contact jansen1@un.org.