In March 2017, the UN Statistical Commission endorsed the proposal to establish UN guidelines for statistical business registers (SBR) based on existing guidelines, while considering the needs of countries with less-developed statistical systems by incorporating country cases applicable to a broad range of statistical systems. The Commission created for this purpose an expert group to prepare not only the guidelines for SBR, but also to give guidance on issues of integrated business statistics, which includes the use of administrative data for business and basic economic statistics, the choice of statistical units in the context of globalization, business statistics and the digital economy, and issues related to a large informal sector.
Jointly organized by ACS, UNSD, and UNCTAD. the Regional validation workshop on International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) is organized as a follow-up activity to the distance-learning course on International Merchandise Trade Statistics, delivered for the first time (to more than 130 participants from 28 countries) to contribute to enhance the knowledge and the capacity IMTS professionals, mainly from the English-speaking countries from the Caribbean region and Asia.
In its decision 46/107, the UN Statistical Commission established the Expert Group on International Trade and Economic Globalization Statistics to address these measurement challenges. The main task of the Expert Group is to develop a handbook that will account for the measurement of GVCs, as described in various reports to the Commission on this topic in the past five years. Both the GVC perspective and the perspective of the national data compiler are fundamental to understanding the composition of the handbook. However, with the realization of the cross-country impact of GVCs on the economic structure of partner countries, a multi-country perspective for those national industries that are included in major GVCs is encouraged in the handbook.
Just preceding the 2017 WTO Public Forum, the United Nations Statistics Division will organize the first one-day UN Comtrade Data Fair in close collaboration with the World Trade Organization and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.The main objective of this Fair is to explain and demonstrate the latest on international trade data and their analytical use for trade policies.
In order to better measure international trade, new recommendations for international merchandise trade statistics were adopted by all UN member states through the UN Statistical Commission in 2010. Countries have started implementing the new elements of these international standards, notably the trade by mode of transport, trade by country of consignment, trade by inward and outward processing, reporting customs procedure codes, and imports valuation on an FOB basis. And in addition, countries are encourage to provide the data elements to global repository of official international trade statistics database (UN Comtrade) maintained by UN Statistics Division.
Big Data, administrative data and traditional statistical data sources should be treated together via a multi-source approach; the challenge is not to overcome problems of using Big Data in itself, but to achieve trusted data collaboration; and in that respect the UN Global Working Group on Big Data needs a collaborative Global Platform for the overall organization of its work. Data collaboratives are a new challenge and new opportunity for the community of official statistics - in relation to Big Data, to the SDGs, to the sharing of data, services, technologies, and know how.
The purpose of the workshop is to explain what a Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) is, how it can be used for national tourism policies, and what the challenges are to compile it. The TSA provides a coherent framework to integrate and analyse the variety of economic statistics relevant to tourism, both on the supply (industry) side and on the demand (tourist) side. The TSA also provides an economic measure of the importance of tourism in terms of expenditures, GDP and employment which are comparable with similar measures for the overall economy.
This seminar will discuss the issues which have been brought up in the preparation of the Handbook on Accounting for Global Value Chains: extended national accounts and integrated business statistics. The main objective of the Handbook is to provide a high-level overview of how economic statistics can be made more accurate and relevant in measuring the effects of globalization in national accounts and business statistics.
As an ongoing capacity development project to strengthen trade data compilation and analytical capacity, the workshop’s objectives are to address questions regarding methodology and challenges in data compilation of International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) ; exchange country experiences with issues such as data acquisition, data compilation strategies and data dissemination related to compilation of IMTS; establish close cooperation among institutions which are providing, compiling and using trade statistics and; acquire practical knowledge in trade data analysis through the use of TradeSift and data visualization. The ultimate goal is to enable compilers to produce international merchandise trade statistics of the highest quality and enable compilers and users to analyze trade statistics relevant to their needs.
The objective of the workshop is to improve the understanding of international recommendations on international merchandise trade statistics and on international trade in services statistics, to share hands-on experiences in data acquisition, data compilation strategies (including data standardization and checking), data quality framework and data analysis and dissemination among trade statistics compilers. Furthermore, the discussion will be touching upon the improvement of data access and flow within national statistical systems with better coordination and cooperation among data providers and compilers. The ultimate goal is to produce the highest quality of international trade in goods and services statistics, which are relevant for the policy makers at home and which are also comparable at the regional and international levels.
In line with the priorities of work and with the urgent needs for support of SDG indicators, the third Global Conference on Big Data for Official Statistics wants to take the next steps in the utilization of Big Data in the production of official statistics, namely by (1) providing guidance for access to proprietary data and for successful partnerships with data owners, by (2) providing training courses on topics such as methodology, IT tools and project management related to Big Data, and by (3) supporting projects, which demonstrate the use of Big Data for official statistics, and especially for the compilation of SDG indicators.
The Fifth International Conference on Establishment Surveys (ICES-V) will take place on 20-23 June 2016 in Geneva and is organized by Statistics Sweden, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, UNECE, Eurostat, OECD, UNCTAD, the US Department of Agriculture and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. UNSD is involved in three invited sessions, namely in a session on global value chains (GVCs) and measurement of interconnectedness of economies, a session on International Trade and Globalization and one on Developing and mainstreaming business statistics in low and middle income countries. The programme is overall very rich and contains 5 or 6 parallel sessions on each of the 4 time slots of the day, and contains sessions, which are all directly relevant for the work programme of UNSD on trade and economic globalization statistics, such as on firm heterogeneity, statistical units and the quality of business registers.
The objective of the workshop is to improve the understanding of international recommendations on international merchandise trade statistics and to share hands-on experiences in data acquisition, data compilation strategies (including data standardization and checking), data quality framework and data analysis and dissemination among trade statistics compilers. Furthermore, the discussion will be touching upon the improvement of data access and flow within national statistical systems with better coordination and cooperation among data providers and compilers. The ultimate goal is to produce the highest quality of international merchandise trade statistics, which are relevant for the policy makers at home and which are also comparable at the regional and international levels. The seminar would be attended by official statisticians from national statistical offices as well as from customs departments. One of the goals of workshop is to bring the communities of statisticians closer together both nationally and internationally.
Following Decision 46/107 taken by the Statistical Commission at its 46th session in 2015, a handbook on a system of extended international and global accounts will be prepared, which will serve as the measurement framework for international trade and economic globalization. This handbook will build on existing work in this area, in particular by the UNECE, the OECD and Eurostat, and address issues of micro-data linking of business and trade statistics, as well as address the integration of economic, environmental and social dimensions of trade and globalization as an extension of the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) and the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting 2012 (SEEA 2012).
This conference intends to take the development of Big Data one step further. Thus far, many examples of Big Data projects have been demonstrated. Now, the focus will be on lessons learned on the basis of detailed descriptions of those case studies. This is a first step towards guidance on using Big Data for Official Statistics, which can stimulate training, pilot projects and bringing pilot projects into the production environment. Therefore, the theme of the second global conference is 'moving from examples to guidelines'.
The objective of the workshop is for participating countries to share experience and knowledge in maintaining and linking the SBR to economic statistics for creating an integrated economic statistics programme, in running an Economic Census, and using administrative data.
In addition, certain challenges and obstacles and solutions will be discussed, including the revision of laws relating to the access of information on individual establishments for statistical purposes; aligning statistical concepts and definitions to the administrative units available; standardizing and linking information from the SBR to external data sources; replacing questionnaires with information available from the economic census, and/or the SBR.
The objective of seminar is to improve the understanding of these recommendations and to share experiences on how to possibly improve the implementation in national statistical systems with better coordination and cooperation among data providers and compilers. And the ultimate goal is to produce the highest quality of international trade statistics, which are relevant for the policy makers at home and which are also comparable at the regional and international levels.
The seminar would be attended by official statisticians from national statistical offices as well as from central banks. One of the goals of seminar is to bring the communities of statisticians closer together both nationally and internationally. Within the framework of Integrated Economic Statistics, it is necessary for national stakeholders to establish working communication channel, collaborate in finding solutions for measurement problems and streamline the production of statistics. At the practical side, the central bank and the statistical office need to work together to produce high-quality trade and balance of payment statistics for evidence-based policy making.
Innovations in technology, broad use of electronic devices and the all-around generation of digital information brings fundamental changes to the availability of real-time information, such as data from GPS devices, from mobile phones or from social media. These high-volume and sometimes loosely structured data sources, commonly referred to as Big Data, are different from conventional data sources for official statistics, and have many challenges in their application. The business case still needs to be made for many statistical offices if, why and how Big Data are useful for official statistics.
The statistical community has recognized the potential use of big data for official statistics. The UN Statistical Commission therefore established in March 2014 a global working group mandated to provide strategic vision, direction and coordination of a global programme on Big Data for official statistics, to promote practical use of sources of Big Data for official statistics, while finding solutions for their challenges, and to promote capacity building and sharing of experiences in this respect.
Friends of the Chair on International Trade and Economic Globalization will meet for the second time to discuss progress made during the period 2013-2014 and to finalize the concept paper on the measurement of international trade and economic globalization along with programme of work and coordination mechanism for submission to Statistical Commission at its 46th session in 2015.
In recent years, concerns were raised about the shortcomings of the existing official trade statistics for the purpose of reflecting bilateral economic relations. The high level of import content in exports makes gross bilateral trade statistics unsuitable for bilateral trade negotiations. Trade analysis requires new measures which better reflect the level of interdependencies among countries engaged in global value chains (GVCs). In order to understand the true nature of trade relationships, it is necessary to know what each country along a global value chain contributes to the value of a final product. In addition, it is important to understand how that contribution is linked to those of other suppliers in other countries coming before and after along the chain, and how much employment and income is generated through this value addition.
Within this context the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) in cooperation with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization (WTO) and Eurostat are organizing an international conference on the measurement of trade and economic globalization.
The objective of this international conference is to discuss conceptual and practical ways of measuring trade and economic globalization, through the understanding of comprehensive statistical frame, global production and business practices, requirements and micro-data compilation for a global Supply-Use Table, firm heterogeneity and the impact of global production on national, regional and global economy. This international conference will bring together international and national experts in the compilation of trade, business or national account statistics and analysts/researchers who are interested in measuring trade and economic globalization.
The African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) organize jointly a Regional Seminar on International Trade Statistics in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) from 12 to 16 May 2014 at the AUC Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The objective of this seminar is to strengthen the capacity of the national statistical systems of countries throughout the African continent in statistics of international trade in goods and services. This activity forms a significant part of the broader effort to improve integrated economic statistics through the implementation of the 2008 System of National Accounts.
This seminar will bring together national experts in the compilation of international merchandise trade statistics (IMTS), statistics of international trade in services, and the goods and services accounts of the balance of payments. The agenda is meant to elicit hands-on discussion and focuses on the status and, especially, the challenges encountered in the implementation of the international recommendations in these fields. A specific item on the agenda is the report of the results of the IMTS quality assessment questionnaire, along with selected issues of concern. Other topics are bridging IMTS and BOP, informal cross border trade, linking trade and the business register, FATS, and data dissemination. This joint activity is an important component in the overall effort to improve evidence-based policy making in Africa.
At the Ninth Ministerial Conference, held in Bali, Indonesia, from 3 to 7 December 2013, ministers adopted the “Bali Package”, a series of decisions aimed at streamlining trade, allowing developing countries more options for providing food security, boosting least-developed countries’ trade and helping development more generally. It will reduce the cost of trading, smooth the flow of goods across borders and provide more certainty for business. Least developed countries will also benefit from increased access to markets for goods and services in developed countries. At the same time, EU-US trade and investment negotiations have made steady progress in the last eight months.
Within this context, high quality and timely official statistics on international trade and tourism remain extremely important. As a collaborative effort, the international organizations (Eurostat, IMF, OECD, WTO, UNWTO, and UNSD) present their views and outline their efforts to strengthen the capacity of the national statistical systems, especially in the developing countries. The just completed draft Compilers guides for statistics of international trade in services and for tourism statistics will be briefly introduced, and explanation will be given on the outstanding work on compilation guidance. Reference will also be made to the Compilation Guide for BPM6 and the Compilers manual for IMTS 2010.
Moreover, the agencies will report on recent and upcoming technical cooperation and capacity-building programs, such as Eurostat’s MEDSTAT seminars; WTO’s efforts on trade in services; UNWTO’s capacity building programme for Tourism statistics; IMF’s technical assistance programmes and UNSD’s capacity-building seminars on trade and tourism statistics. In many cases, the international agencies as well as experts from advanced statistical offices join forces in the capacity development activities.
The Friday Seminar on Emerging Issues has as its theme this year: “Managing the Data Revolution: Integrated Statistics and Partnerships in Data for Statistical Organizations in the Post-2015 Era”. It will provide the setting for an interactive dialogue between the providers of official statistics and their existing and prospective partners in data on the formulation of shared statistical objectives within the context of the post-2015 development agenda.
For instance, engagement with business around corporate sustainability means working on a partnership regarding robust and internationally agreed accountability measures in order to make business commitments transparent and to ensure that progress towards them is real. Civil society as a partner may lead to finding new data sources to measure an enabling environment of societies, , whereas research institutes like the World Resources Institute (WRI) are invaluable in increasing sources of information on many topics like a sustainable food future, or ecosystems and human well-being. Recently, WRI developed map-based monitoring platforms for deforestation (Global Forest Watch) and water management (Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas). These map-based monitoring systems demonstrate the power of partnerships in sharing purpose, techniques, knowledge and data.
These success stories should lead to further data initiatives where the official statistical community can play a significant role by sharing their knowledge of statistical methods and techniques, but also by giving access to their micro-data on businesses, households, individuals and land cover. Cooperation with the national statistical offices (NSOs) can also strengthen the credibility of these data initiatives through the independence and trust of national statistical offices (NSOs).
NSOs need to prepare themselves for the high demands that will inevitably arise from the post-2015 development agenda for integrated economic, social and environmental statistics. They should introduce innovations in their structures, systems and processes to increase their efficiency and ability to adapt to new requests. Moreover their adoption of the corporate business architecture based on standardized statistical information models will enhance the flexibility in business operations and enable the sharing of methods, components, processes and data repositories within their organization and across statistical organizations. Also, advancing open and easy access to micro-data will increase the relevance and value of the official statistics, and will further the NSOs in delivering their mission in the post-2015 era.
The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and the ASEAN Secretariat with support of BPS-Statistics Indonesia and the APEC secretariat will organize an International Seminar on Trade and Tourism Statistics from 7 to 10 October 2013 at the headquarters of BPS-Statistics Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The agenda of the workshop will cover topics such as a new approach for the measurement of international Trade and Global Value Chains, the MSITS 2010 Compilers Guide and the Compilation Guide for Tourism Statistics. Specific topics will include enterprise and establishment surveys; surveys of persons and households; Travel and Tourism statistics; Transportation statistics; Manufacturing services on inputs owned by others; FATS, FDI and multi-national enterprises; Guidelines for Statistical Business Registers; and linking trade, FDI and FATS with the business register.
At the most recent session of the Statistical Commission in 2013, the United Nations Statistics Division presented an overview report International Trade Statistics (Report of the Secretary-General, E/CN.3/2013/7) of the work undertaken in the field of international trade statistics on topics such as integrated economic statistics, linking trade and business statistics, trade and global production, trade in value added, statistics of multinational enterprises and foreign direct investment. The report described the policy questions regarding international trade in a world in which production processes are spread among many countries creating not only economic and financial interdependencies but also social and environmental ones. The report then highlighted the growing concerns regarding the limitations of current trade statistics to inform the policy debate. Some phenomena, which are difficult to measure and for which adequate data are lacking, include intra-firm trade, foreign control, manufacturing services performed on inputs owned by others, and transfers of intellectual property products.
While there are many international task teams working on these measurement problems in various areas of international trade and economic globalization (see annex 3), an overarching framework and systematic coordination are lacking. The Commission recognized See Decision 44/106 in E/2013/24 the need for such framework and coordination and agreed to the creation of a “friends of the chair” group tasked with preparing a concept paper on the scope and content of the framework, and on the appropriate mechanism for coordination.
UNSD is organizing, in close collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat, a training workshop on compilation issues of Travel and Tourism Statistics for the Caribbean countries from 14 to 17 May 2013 in Roseau, Dominica, which will be hosted by the Central Statistical Office of Dominica.
The agenda of the workshop will cover topics such as: the trade in services and tourism statistics and its their role in the statistical system, travel and tourism compilation including measuring employment, related classification and data quality and metadata and also tourism satellite accounts.