C.2. Objectives of a satellite register for trade in services
5.26. The objectives of a TIS-R can be described as follows:
(a) The TIS-R must enumerate all the resident economic units that have had, in the recent past, international transactions in services. Ideally, the services subregister should enable an immediate differentiation of its population by major kinds of services, and distinguish the population of services exporters from that of importers, insofar as those populations may have significantly different features;
(b) The TIS-R needs additional indicators that provide information on international transactions, which are generally not included in an SBR. An SBR is a necessary, but not sufficient, source to determine the TIS-R population;
(c) The selection of the population of economic units of interest to statistics on the international supply of services will be an extract of the TIS-R. It generally includes all big players, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, selected for participation in a sample survey. In other words, we are distinguishing three sets of economic units: the overall population of the SBR, the subset population of the TIS-R and the surveyed sample of the TIS-R.
5.27. Variables Turnover, economic activity, number of employees, balance sheet variables, foreign trade data, data on foreign ownership and other economic data are necessary auxiliary variables for carrying out the selection, stratification, sampling and estimation of economic units. It is also good practice to use business registers to identify the self-employed population that could potentially be supplying their services through mode 4, because merchants and small manufacturers, including the self-employed and single-proprietor companies, are usually registered in them. An indication of cross-border trade activities might be also available and should be reflected in the TIS-R.
5.28. Sources The sources used to build and update a TIS-R should be used in two ways: (1) to identify the population as well as the variables used to identify it and (2) to select the enterprises to be surveyed. Potential sources to be carefully tested include the following:
(a) The general SBR lists the businesses active in the country, whatever their activity, domestic and/or international. It may contain relevant information for building and updating the TIS-R: identification variables, stratification variables relating to the activity and size of the enterprises, demographic variables and relationships variables (links between units);
(b) Settlements and international payments databases exist in many countries and contain the detail that can be derived from an ITRS on the resident units carrying out international payments through accounts held in resident banks, with an item breakdown (including trade in services);
(c) Trade registers include a list of resident operators involved in international trade in goods. Generally a link can be established between trade in goods and trade in services (e.g., through information on international freight);
(d) VAT registers are an important source for updating other registers existing in the country. The basic information in the VAT register includes, in general, such variables as turnover, employment, main activity and total goods and services exports and imports, which may be useful for a TIS-R;
(e) Other sources include the register of partial direct reporting companies, the FDI register, balance sheet information and specific registers available from trade associations or regulatory bodies, including insurance companies, postal and telecommunications operators, trusts, securities dealers, the press and other media.