I. Composition of country groups
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North America: Canada, United States of America,
and territories in North America n.e.s.
Latin America: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina,
Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa
Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador,
Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico,
Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts
and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname,
Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela and other countries and
territories in Latin America n.e.s.
Western Europe: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy,
Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Croatia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Slovenia,
Serbia and Montenegro, and territories in Western Europe n.e.s.
Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltic States and the
Commonwealth of Independent States (transition economies), of
Central and Eastern Europe: Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic,
Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Slovak Republic; the Baltic States:
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; and the Commonwealth of Independent
States (CIS): Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyz Repubic, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,
Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The grouping former USSR refers to the Baltic
States and the CIS.
Africa, of which
North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Morocco and
Tunisia; and Sub-Saharan Africa comprising: Western Africa: Benin,
Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea,
Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal,
Sierra Leone and Togo; Central Africa: Burundi, Cameroon, Central
African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, and Sao Tome and Principe; Eastern
Africa: Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar,
Mauritius, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania and
Uganda; and Southern Africa: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi,
Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and
territories in Africa n.e.s.
The Middle East: Bahrain, Iraq, Islamic Republic
of Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and other countries
and territories in the Middle East n.e.s.
Asia, of which
West Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives,
Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; and East Asia (including Oceania):
Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; Fiji; Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region of China (Hong Kong, China); Indonesia; Japan;
Kiribati; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Macau, China; Malaysia;
Mongolia; Myanmar; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Philippines;
Republic of Korea; Samoa; Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu,
Kinmen and Matsu (Taipei, Chinese); Singapore; Solomon Islands;
Thailand; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu; Viet Nam and other countries and
territories in Asia and the Pacific n.e.s.
2. Regional integration agreements
ANDEAN: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and
APEC: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile;
China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea;
Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Philippines;
Russian Federation; Singapore; Taipei, Chinese; Thailand; United
States of America and Viet Nam.
ASEAN: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao
People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines,
Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.
CEFTA: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland,
Romania, Slovenia and the Slovak Republic.
EUROPEAN UNION: Austria, Belgium, Denmark,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,
Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
MERCOSUR: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
NAFTA: Canada, Mexico and the United States of
SAPTA: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal,
Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
3. Other country groups
Acceding countries of the European Union:
Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta,
Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia.
Least-developed countries: Afghanistan, Angola,
Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape
Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of
the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia,
Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Lao People's Democratic
Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali,
Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome
and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan,
Togo, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, Yemen and
Six East Asian traders: Hong Kong, China;
Malaysia; Republic of Korea; Singapore; Separate Customs Territory of
Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Taipei, Chinese) and Thailand.
The definition of country groups in this report does
not imply an expression of opinion by the Secretariat concerning the
status of any country, territory or area, the delimitation of its
frontiers, nor on the rights and obligations of any WTO Member in
respect of WTO Agreements.
The Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu is
referred to as Taipei, Chinese throughout this report.
Definitions and methods
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II.1 Merchandise trade
1. Exports and imports
Two systems of recording merchandise exports and
imports are in common use. They are referred to as general trade and
special trade and differ mainly in the way warehoused and re-exported
goods are treated. General trade figures are larger than the
corresponding special trade figures because the latter exclude certain
trade flows, such as goods shipped through bonded warehouses.
To the extent possible, total merchandise trade is
defined in this report according to the general trade definition. It
covers all types of inward and outward movement of goods through a
country or territory including movements through customs warehouses
and free zones. Goods include all merchandise that either add to or
reduce the stock of material resources of a country by entering
(imports) or leaving (exports) the country's economic territory. For
further explanations, see United Nations International Trade
Statistics, Concepts and Definitions, Series M, No 52,
Unless otherwise indicated, exports are valued at
transaction value, including the cost of transportation and insurance
to bring the merchandise to the frontier of the exporting country or
territory (f.o.b. valuation). Imports are valued at transaction value
plus the cost of transportation and insurance to the frontier of the
importing country or territory (c.i.f. valuation).
All product groups are defined according to Revision 3
of the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC).
The following groupings are used in this report:
A. Primary products
(i) Agricultural products
— Food: food and live animals; beverages and
tobacco; animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes; oilseeds and
oleaginous fruit (SITC sections 0, 1, 4 and division 22).
— Raw materials: hides, skins and furskins,
raw; crude rubber (including synthetic and reclaimed); cork and wood;
pulp and waste paper; textile fibres and their wastes; crude animal
and vegetable materials, n.e.s. (SITC divisions 21, 23, 24, 25, 26,
(ii) Mining products
— Ores and other minerals: crude fertilizers
(other than those classified in chemicals) and crude minerals; metalliferous ores and metal scrap (SITC divisions 27, 28).
— Fuels: (SITC section 3).
— Non-ferrous metals: (SITC division 68).
B. Manufactures: (SITC sections 5, 6, 7, 8
minus division 68 and group 891)
(i) Iron and steel: (SITC division 67).
(ii) Chemicals: organic chemicals (SITC division
51); plastics (SITC divisions 57, 58); inorganic chemicals (SITC
division 52); pharmaceuticals (SITC division 54); other chemicals (SITC
divisions 53, 55, 56, 59).
(iii) Other semi-manufactures: leather, leather
manufactures, n.e.s., and dressed furskins; rubber manufactures, n.e.s.;
cork and wood manufactures (excluding furniture); paper, paperboard
and articles of paper pulp, of paper or of paperboard; non-metallic
mineral manufactures, n.e.s.; manufactures of metals, n.e.s. (SITC
divisions 61, 62, 63, 64, 66, 69).
(iv) Machinery and transport equipment: power
generating machinery; other non-electrical machinery; office machines
and telecommunications equipment; electrical machinery and apparatus;
automotive products; other transport equipment (SITC section 7).
— Power generating machinery: power generating
machinery and equipment minus internal combustion piston engines, and
parts thereof, n.e.s. (SITC division 71 minus group 713).
— Other non-electrical machinery: machinery
specialized for particular industries; metalworking machinery; general
industrial machinery and equipment, n.e.s., and machine parts, n.e.s.
(SITC divisions 72, 73, 74).
— Office machines and telecommunications equipment:
office machines and automatic data processing machines;
telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and
equipment; thermionic, cold cathode or photo-cathode valves and tubes
(SITC divisions 75, 76 and group 776).
— Electrical machinery and apparatus:
electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, n.e.s., and electrical
parts thereof; minus thermionic, cold cathode or photo-cathode valves
and tubes; minus electrical equipment, n.e.s., for internal combustion
engines and vehicles, and parts thereof (SITC division 77 minus group
776 and subgroup 7783).
— Automotive products: motor cars and other
motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons
(other than public transport type vehicles) including station wagons
and racing cars; motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special
purpose motor vehicles; road motor vehicles, n.e.s.; parts and
accessories of motor vehicles and tractors; internal combustion piston
engines for vehicles listed above; electrical equipment, n.e.s., for
internal combustion engines and vehicles, and parts thereof (SITC
groups 781, 782, 783, 784, and subgroups 7132, 7783).
— Other transport equipment:
(railway vehicles, aircraft,
spacecraft, ships and boats, and associated parts and equipment);
motorcycles and cycles, motorized and non-motorized; trailers and
semi-trailers, other vehicles (not mechanically propelled), and
specially designed and equipped transport containers; internal
combustion piston engines for aircraft, and parts thereof, n.e.s.;
internal combustion piston engines, marine propulsion; internal
combustion piston engines, n.e.s.; parts, n.e.s., for internal
combustion piston engines listed above (SITC division 79, groups 785,
786, and subgroups 7131, 7133, 7138, 7139).
(v) Textiles: (SITC division 65).
(vi) Clothing: (SITC division 84).
(vii) Other consumer goods: household articles,
travel goods, footwear, instruments and apparatus, photography,
optical goods, watches and clocks, and other manufactured articles,
n.e.s. (SITC divisions 81, 82, 83, 85, 87, 88, 89 excluding group 891,
arms and ammunition). Of which furniture (SITC division 82), travel
goods (SITC division 83), footwear (SITC division 85), and toys and
games (SITC group 894).
C. Other products: commodities and transactions
not classified elsewhere (including gold); arms and ammunition (SITC
section 9 and group 891).
3. World trade network
The world merchandise trade network by region and
product from which Appendix tables A2 and A8 are derived is based on
export data. The network is constructed in the following way:
First, total merchandise exports from each of the
seven regions are aggregated from individual country figures published
in Appendix table A4.
Next, the total merchandise exports of each region are
distributed by destination and then by product. The regional and
commodity breakdown is based on UNSD, Comtrade database, OECD, Monthly
Statistics of International Trade, EUROSTAT, national statistics and
During this process, the principal adjustments to the
figures are as follows:
(i) Exports of ships to the open registry countries
Panama and Liberia are re-allocated from each region's exports to
Latin America and Africa to “unspecified destinations” (a category not
(ii) China's exports are adjusted to approximate their
(iii) Exports of non-monetary gold, where known, are
included. When they cannot be broken down by destination, they are
allocated to “unspecified destinations”.
4. Merchandise trade of selected major traders by
product, region and major trading partner (Appendix tables A9 to
These tables are derived from UNSD Comtrade and
Eurostat. For trade by product, world totals include shipments which
have not been distinguished by origin or destination. For trade by
region and partner, world totals include goods which have not been
specified by product. The following adjustment has been made to the
Exports of ships to the open registry countries Panama
and Liberia are re-allocated from each economy's exports to Latin
America and Africa to “unspecified destinations” (a category not shown
The selection of each reporter's major trading
partners is based on a ranking of total trade (exports plus imports)
of each reporter with their trading partners in 2002 (member States of
the EU are counted as one trading partner).
5. Merchandise trade in balance of payments
Merchandise trade statistics together with other basic
statistical systems (such as industrial and transport statistics)
provide the foundation for the system of national accounts (SNA) and
the balance of payments (BOP). Merchandise trade statistics are basic
to the compilation of the goods account in the balance of payments as
structured and defined in the fifth edition of the International
Monetary Fund's Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5).
Goods (merchandise) are defined in the SNA as “physical objects for which a demand exists, over which ownership
rights can be established and whose ownership can be transferred from
one institutional unit to another by engaging in transactions on
markets”. Thus, for the SNA and BOP statistics the recording of
transactions should be based on the change of ownership principle.
However, the compilation of international merchandise
trade statistics (ITS) is usually based on customs records which
essentially reflect the physical movement of goods across borders, and
follow international guidelines on concepts and definitions which do
not fully conform to the principles of the SNA and the BPM5.
A number of adjustments has to be made to
international merchandise trade statistics before they match the
specific requirements of national accounts and balance of payments
statistics. For aggregate exports and imports these adjustments are
mainly related to coverage, the system of trade, and valuation.
With respect to coverage, the ITS in most instances
conforms with the BPM5. Differences remain for the following cases:
transactions that represent services transactions (e.g.
blueprints, videos, and tapes) should be valued in ITS at the value of
the material in which they are incorporated, while under BPM5 these
transactions should be excluded from goods and included, at market
value, in services;
(ii) transactions in which one or both national
boundaries are not crossed (e.g. trade in vessels and aircraft,
exports of bunkers, etc.) are not always included in ITS for practical
reasons, whereas they are usually included in BOP statistics;
goods under the improvement and repair trade regime should be
excluded from ITS, but they are to be included at the value of the
repair under the BPM5.
Concerning the system of trade, the ITS guidelines
outline the measurement of trade flows on the basis of (1) the special
trade system and (2) the general trade system. Under the special trade
system, the customs frontier is regarded as the statistical boundary
whereas, under the general system of trade, the national frontier is
regarded as the statistical boundary. The BPM5 stresses that
measurement for BOP compilation should be based on change of ownership
rather than on the general trade system or the special trade system.
The general trade system appears to be a better proxy for measuring
change of ownership because it provides broader coverage and the date
of change of ownership may be closer to the date goods cross the
national frontier than to the date goods clear through customs.
As far as valuation is concerned, the issue that
affects most data comparability concerns the point of valuation,
namely, whether goods are valued at the importer's border — that is at
the c.i.f. value — or at the f.o.b. value at the exporter's border.
ITS guidelines recommend the adoption of the c.i.f. valuation for
imports whereas BPM5 requires the f.o.b. valuation. Additional
adjustments may be made by BOP compilers to conform to the BPM5
requirement for a market price for valuing trade, processing trade,
and with respect to currency conversion.
Once adjusted, merchandise trade is recorded in the
goods category of the current account, along with services, income,
and current transfers. Therefore, within the balance of payments
framework transactions in both goods and services are harmonized and
provide for comparable statistical series, as in Table I.8. Strictly
speaking, it is not correct to aggregate the figures for commercial
services and merchandise shown elsewhere in this report.
It should be noted that some countries still apply the
concepts of the fourth edition of the Balance of Payments Manual, and
thus do not include goods for processing and goods procured in port
carriers in the goods account.
II.2 Trade in commercial services
1. Exports and imports
Exports (credits) and imports (debits) of commercial
services are derived from statistics on international service
transactions included in the balance of payments statistics, in
conformity with the concepts, definitions and classification of the
fourth (1977) or fifth (1993) edition of the IMF Balance of Payments
2. Definition of commercial services
In the fifth edition of the Balance of
Payments Manual, the current account is subdivided into goods,
services (including government services, n.i.e.), income
(investment income and compensation of employees), and current
transfers. The commercial services category in this report is
defined as being equal to services minus government services, n.i.e.
Commercial services is further sub-divided into transport,
travel, and other commercial services.
Transport covers all transportation services (sea,
air and other — including land, internal waterway, space and pipeline)
that are performed by residents of one economy for those of another,
and that involve the carriage of passengers, the movement of goods
(freight), rentals (charters) of carriers with crew, and related
supporting and auxiliary services.
Travel includes goods and services acquired by
personal travellers, for health, education or other purposes, and by
business travellers. Unlike other services, travel is not a specific
type of service, but an assortment of goods and services consumed by
travellers. The most common goods and services covered are lodging,
food and beverages, entertainment and transportation (within the
economy visited), gifts and souvenirs.
Other commercial services corresponds to the
following components defined in BPM5:
(i) communication services (telecommunications,
postal and courier services);
(ii) construction services;
(iii) insurance services;
(iv) financial services;
(v) computer and information services
(including news agency services);
(vi) royalties and licence fees, covering
payments and receipts for the use of intangible non-financial assets
and proprietary rights, such as patents, copyrights, trademarks,
industrial processes, and franchises;
(vii) other business services, comprising trade
related services, operational leasing (rentals), and miscellaneous
business, professional and technical services such as legal,
accounting, management consulting, public relations services,
advertising, market research and public opinion polling, research and
development services, architectural, engineering, and other technical
services, agricultural, mining and on-site processing; and
(viii) personal, cultural, and recreational
services including audiovisual services.
3. Coverage and comparability
Although in recent years the coverage and
comparability of services trade data have improved, recorded trade
figures still lack comparability across countries and are subject to
First, some countries do not collect statistics
for certain service categories. Second, some service
transactions are simply not registered. If central bank records are
used, situations where no financial intermediaries are employed are
not counted. In the case of surveys, the coverage of trading
establishments is often incomplete. A particularly serious problem is
that services transmitted electronically are frequently unregistered,
especially when the transactions take place within multinational
corporations. Third, statistics may be reported on a net rather
than on a gross basis, often as a result of compensation arrangements
such as in rail transport or in communication services. Fourth,
the alternate sources used for countries which are not members of the
IMF do not necessarily comply with the IMF concepts and definitions.
Fifth, misclassification of transactions may lead to an
underestimation of commercial services when service transactions are
registered as income, transfers or trade in merchandise rather than
trade in services or, conversely, to an overestimation of commercial
services when transactions pertaining to income, transfers or official
transactions are registered in the private service categories.
These distortions may be particularly significant at
the detailed level, i.e., for a detailed service category, or for
trade flows by origin and destination.
The implementation of BPM5 is resulting in an
improvement of country comparability over time. However, given that
these improvements are made gradually, they also result in a number of
breaks in series. The borderline between goods and services, as well
as the borderlines between the components of commercial services
differ in BPM4 and BPM5. Examples of such differences are:
(i) most processing transactions are
included under goods on a gross basis in BPM5, while in BPM4 only the
value of the fees paid for processing are included in services;
(ii) goods procured in ports, such as fuels and
provisions, are included in goods in BPM5, and in services (transport)
(iii) in BPM4, insurance services are normally
measured by the net premiums defined as premiums less claims, while in
BPM5, insurance services reflects the “normal” service charge, i.e.
administrative services and part of the earnings; the rest of the net
premiums or the actual risk premiums is recorded under current
transfers or in the financial account in case of life insurance; in
addition, freight insurance is part of transport in BPM4, and part of
insurance services in BPM5; and
(iv) the expenditure of seasonal and border workers is
included in labour income in BPM4, and in travel in BPM5.
4. Intra-trade of the European Union
The principal source for trade in commercial services
are the IMF's Balance-of-Payments statistics. Intra-EU trade figures
have been estimated from statistics included in the Eurostat's 2003
edition of EU international transactions.
5. Trade in services of the United States
In 2003, the United States has revised its methodology
for estimating trade in insurance services.
Insurance services were previously measured as premiums less actual
claims paid. According to that approach, only premiums not disbursed
for claims measured the output of the insurance service sector. Paid
claims simply indicated money flowing through insurance companies to
policy holders that suffered losses. The main inconvenience of this
measure was its sharp fluctuation for years in which extreme claims
occurred, for example, after the 11 September 2001 attacks or the 1992
The new methodology measures insurance services as
premiums less normal claims. Normal claims comprise two components: “regularly occurring claims” that are calculated as an average of all
claims paid during the previous 6 years, and a share of “catastrophic
claims” that is added-on to “regularly occurring claims” in equal
increments over the two decades following their event.
As comprehensive data collection on insurance services
started in 1986, the first 6-year average of “regularly occurring
claims” could only be calculated for 1992. As a result, time series
on U.S. trade in insurance services, and consequently on other
commercial services, have been revised back to 1992. In comparison
with previously published statistics, the values of imports and
exports of other commercial services are somewhat lower for the years
1992 through 1998 and significantly higher for the years after.
II. 3 Other definitions and methods
1. Annual changes
Throughout this report, average annual percentage
changes are analogous to compound interest rates. In calculating the
average annual rate of change between 1995 and 2000, for example, data
for calendar year 1995 were taken as the starting point, and data for
calendar year 2000 as the end point.
2. Commodity prices
Commodity price movements are primarily described by
indices largely based on spot market prices, and therefore exclude
transactions governed by longer-term contracts. Price indices for such
commodities as food, beverages, agricultural raw materials, minerals,
non-ferrous metals, fertilizers and crude petroleum are obtained from
IMF International Financial Statistics. Aggregates for all
primary commodities and for non-fuel primary commodities are
calculated using IMF weights.
3. Merchandise trade volume and unit value indices
The volume and unit value indices are taken from a
range of different international and national sources. The reported
volume and unit value indices may not always be available for the most
recent years or may differ in product coverage from the corresponding
Aggregation of the indices to obtain a world total is
a two-tier process. First, export and import unit values are
adjusted to the extent possible for differences in coverage and, in
cases of missing data, completed with Secretariat estimates. They are
then aggregated to obtain regional totals. The volume index for each
region is obtained by dividing the respective trade value index for
each region by the corresponding regional unit value index.
Second, to obtain the total world merchandise
volume index, regional unit value indices are aggregated and the world
trade value is deflated by the world unit value index. Throughout the
aggregation process trade values of the previous year are used as
4. World production
Production of agriculture, mining and manufacturing is
defined according to major Divisions 1, 2 and 3 of the International
Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC). World production in these
sectors is estimated by combining production indices published by the
FAO, IMF, OECD, UNIDO and UNSD. The world index is derived through
aggregation of the three sectors by using value added shares in 1995
5. World gross domestic product
World GDP growth is estimated as a weighted average of
economies' real GDP growth. The weights used are shares of economies
in 1995 world nominal GDP converted to dollars at market exchange
The use of official exchange rates which are not
market-based for some major economies, together with the fluctuations
of the United States dollar vis-à-vis major currencies can have a
significant impact on the weighting pattern. The increasing use of
weights based on purchasing power parities (PPP) by other
international organizations is meant to attenuate “anomalies” linked
to these factors. In a period of widely diverging growth rates among
countries and regions, the choice of the weighting pattern can have a
marked influence on the global growth estimate. For the 1995-2000
period, global growth estimates based on PPP-weights indicate a
significantly faster growth than estimates using weights based on GDP
data measured at market exchange rates. This is because of differences
in the two weighting patterns. Relative to weights based on GDP at
market exchange rates, PPP weights are low for the transition
economies — especially the successor States of the former USSR with a
poor growth record, and high for major developing countries (in
particular China) with above average growth.
Under the system of general trade adopted in this report, re
exports are included in total merchandise trade (see Section II.1). However, in
the case of Hong Kong, China, the magnitude of its re-exports (amounting in 2002
to $ 183 billion), if included in regional or world aggregates, would adversely
affect the analytical value of the statistics by introducing a significant
element of double counting. Therefore, Hong Kong, China's re-exports are
excluded from the world and from Asia aggregates (unless otherwise indicated);
only Hong Kong, China's domestic exports and retained imports are included in
the totals. For this reason, the figures for world exports and for exports of
Asia shown in Appendix tables A2 and A8 are smaller than those in Appendix table
A4. Since retained imports cannot be identified from imports directly, an
approximation is derived by subtracting the value of re-exports from the value
of imports. The resulting figure will, however, under-estimate the value of
retained imports by the amount of the re-export margin.
Country specific notes
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1. Merchandise trade statistics of the European
Beginning with the 2002 report, EU data compiled according to national
statistical practices have been replaced, starting 1993, with data
compiled by Eurostat in accordance with EU legislation. The concepts
and definitions adopted by the EU are in line with the United Nations'
International Trade Statistics, Concepts and Definitions,
Series M, N0 52, Revision 2. As a result, the conceptual differences
between EU member states' data have been substantially reduced.
Moreover, for the EU as a whole, Eurostat data are more timely than
the previous source, thus reducing substantially the amount of
estimation included in the EU aggregate.
Since January 1993, statistics on the trade between
the member States of the EU have been collected through the “Intrastat” system (see GATT 1994, International Trade Trends and Statistics).
The coverage of this system, which relies on reports submitted by
firms for transactions above a minimum value, is not as wide as the
previous one, which was based on customs declarations. This is
particularly noticeable on the import side. For example, prior to the
adoption of the Intrastat system, reported intra-EU imports (c.i.f.)
closely matched reported intra-EU exports (f.o.b.). However, from 1993
onwards, the reported value of intra-EU imports has been on average
around 3 per cent lower than the value of intra-EU exports, indicating
a substantial under-reporting of intra-EU imports. As a result of this
inconsistency, the Secretariat has substituted intra-EU exports data
for intra-EU imports at the aggregate EU level when estimating
regional and world totals. However, this adjustment is not allocated
between EU member countries. Hence, the sum of reported imports of
individual EU members does not add to the figure for EU imports as a
whole. This adjustment is also reflected in the volume estimates for
the EU as a whole.
2. Merchandise trade of Central and Eastern Europe,
the Baltic States and the CIS
Throughout the 1990's economic and political upheavals
in the region led to valuation problems when converting national
currencies to dollars, disruptions in the statistical reporting
systems, and changes in the statistical territories of various
economies in the region. This has resulted in many breaks in data
continuity. The main ones are as follows:
Between 1989 and 1990, for Bulgaria and the
former USSR, due to the conversion into dollars at official,
market-oriented exchange rates, replacing the earlier practice of
using implicit conversion factors. Valuation problems are discussed in
more detail in Box 1 in Volume I of International Trade 1990-91 and in
Box 2 in Volume I of International Trade 1989-90.
Between 1993 and 1994 for the Baltic States and the
CIS, due to the inclusion of their mutual exchanges.
Between 1995 and
1996 for the Czech Republic, due to the exclusion of aircrafts and the
movements of ships through inward processing zones, as well as the
exclusion of temporary exports and imports.
Between 1997 and 1998 for the Russian Federation due
to the use of Balance of Payments methodology by GOSKOMSTAT starting
Between 1994 and 1995 for the Ukraine, due to a change
in data collection procedures.
Between 1996 and 1997 for the Slovak Republic, and
between 1997 and 1998 for Poland, due to the introduction of new
arrangements in customs procedures to harmonize with the standards of
the European Union.
With respect to the Russian Federation, considerable
uncertainty remains about the accuracy of foreign trade statistics,
especially as regards imports. A large proportion of the reported data
on imports consists of official estimates of inflows of goods which
enter the country without being registered by the customs authorities.
Such adjustments to import data accounted for 24 per cent of the
officially reported totals in 2002; and, on the export side, for about
1 per cent of total reported exports.
IV. Statistical sources back to top
Most frequently used sources for statistics are:
EUROSTAT, Comext and New Cronos databases
FAO, Production Yearbook
FAO, FAOSTAT Agriculture database
IMF, Balance of Payments Statistics
IMF, International Financial Statistics
IMF, World Economic Outlook database
OECD, Main Economic Indicators
OECD, Monthly Statistics of International Trade
OECD, National Accounts
OECD/IEA, Energy Prices & Taxes
UNECE, Economic Survey of Europe
UNECLAC, Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean
UNIDO, National Accounts Statistics Database
UNSD, Comtrade database
UNSD, International Trade Statistics Yearbook
UNSD, Monthly Bulletin of Statistics
World Bank, World Development Indicators
These sources are supplemented by national publications and
Figures for total merchandise trade are largely derived from IMF,
International Financial Statistics. Data on merchandise trade by
origin, destination and product are obtained mainly from Eurostat and
the UNSD Comtrade database. Some inconsistencies in the aggregate
export and import data for the same country or territory between the
two sources are inevitable. These can be attributed to the use of
different systems of recording trade, to the way in which IMF and UNSD
have converted data expressed in national currencies into dollars, and
revisions which can be more readily incorporated in the IMF data.
Statistics on trade in commercial services are mainly drawn from
the IMF Balance of Payments Statistics. For countries that do not
report to the IMF (e.g., Macau, China; and Taipei, Chinese) data are
drawn from national sources. Estimations for missing data are mainly
based on national statistics. Statistics on trade in commercial
services by origin and destination (Tables III.6 and III.7) are also
derived from national statistics.
GDP series in current dollars are mainly derived from the World
Bank World Development Indicators, supplemented in some cases with
statistics from the IMF World Economic Outlook database.
Acknowledgements are due to the Food and Agriculture Organization,
the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development, the Statistical Office of the European
Communities, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the
United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the
Caribbean, the United Nations Statistics Division, the United Nations
Industrial Development Organization and the World Bank whose
assistance in supplying advance copies of their publications as well
as other information has greatly facilitated the work of the
Secretariat. Acknowledgements are also due to national institutions
for providing advance statistics.
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