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Changes in trade reporting practices of countries with colonies

Changes in trade reporting practices of countries with colonies

Q:  Are changes in political boundaries since WWII taken into account in UN trade statistics? For example, are colonies such as Algeria for France or Kenya for the UK included as part of the territories of France and UK until their independence? Is trade between a country and its colonies reported as international trade or not reported because it is considered as domestic trade?

A: The international recommendation on the coverage is that international merchandise trade statistics record all goods which add to or subtract from the stock of material resources of a country by entering (imports) or leaving (exports) its economic territory. The economic territory is not the same as the political territory or even the geographical territory of a country. For the international merchandise trade statistics of France, the economic territory includes Monaco, but does not include the overseas territories. It is only since 1996 that France included the overseas departments (French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion) in its economic territory.

In general, colonies have not been part of the economic territories of France or the United Kingdom.

For references on methodology, please see

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