Country experience: Spain
5.37. Since 2005, the National Institute of Statistics has been entrusted to conduct an international trade in services survey , with the aim of helping the Bank of Spain to estimate the “other services” item of the BOP. The survey is sent to enterprises, sampled from the business registers of various institutions, because the Institute’s Central Business Register (DIRCE) does not contain a variable for identifying exporters and importers of services. Populations that are considered are obtained from different registers, including regular declarants of foreign services transactions enterprises from the monthly VAT records of large companies and a sample of enterprises (with 10 employees or more) from DIRCE; care is taken to exclude double counting of the same units. More detail on those populations is available in the online version of the present Guide.
5.38. The results obtained by the international trade in services survey between 2005 and 2012 showed significant differences in level (but not in trend) from those obtained by the Bank of Spain settlements system. Since 2013, the populations and statistical frameworks used in the surveys have remained very diverse. The intention is, however, to reduce to the maximum the number of survey respondents who may state in the questionnaire that they do not carry out such transactions. In the new sampling design, DIRCE does not form a statistical frame by itself. Instead, its main function is to characterize the companies of the different populations by main economic activity and size, to enable the substratification of each stratum by those two variables.
5.39. In the case of FATS, the set of inward FATS is compiled from the National Institute of Statistics’ structural business surveys, the majority of which use DIRCE. DIRCE records the “group of enterprises” as a statistical unit. The system is updated on a yearly basis in a similar manner as the other statistical units. The maintenance processes affect the basic features of the groups, as well as the units forming them. In those processes, access to a complete set of administrative databases (corporation tax groups) and private databases (Dun and Bradstreet database or Iberinform shareholder database) is absolutely crucial.
5.40. The variables available in DIRCE for identifying the inward FATS population include, for each listed company, its nationality and whether it operates independently or under a group of companies. The set of outward FATS statistics is obtained directly from an administrative register from the Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness, called the Foreign Investments Register (RIE). Its main variables include the identification of the company, its legal status, its main business activity, the number of employees, the turnover rate and other economic variables, the percentage of foreign participation and the country involved and the percentage of Spanish participation, among others.