This TrainForTrade e-learning course on IMTS was developed and produced jointly by UNSD, UNCTAD and WTO in close collaboration with the Inter-Agency Task Force on International Trade Statistics in 2018. It is run annually.
The objective of the course is to provide more globally accessible and rather complete training material for those involved in the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS). That is, the course is annually organized to meet the needs for technical assistance in the compilation of IMTS and contributes to address the aims of Goal 17 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
However, the world is quickly changing which emerge the new ways of goods production, goods movement and forms of international trade. Digitalization of the mentioned processes reveals new sources and ways of collecting statistical information. At the same time mentioned trends open new opportunities for optimizing work of statistical institutes and reducing the burden on businesses. As a result, the need of understanding a more complex world creates a query for statistics on new data.
Main goals of the course are to enhance statisticians' ability to apply the most recent internationally agreed recommendations on IMTS, define best possible data sources, set up adequate (or enforce existing) collection systems, and enhance statistics compilation and production processes. The course focuses on the following topics: Conceptual Framework, Institutional Arrangement, Production and Compilation, Metadata and Quality, Dissemination and Analysis and New Areas of Work. Furthermore, the course emphasises the importance of quality, metadata, timely dissemination, and links to economic analysis and national policy objectives. The course enhances trainees' capacity to make better use of the internationally agreed guidance, especially the IMTS Concepts and Definitions 2010 and the related Compilers Manual.
This course was designed mainly for trade data compilers; however, users of trade data can also benefit from the course.