“Twenty ten twenty-ten” — the date 20.10.2010, European style — marks the first ever World Statistics Day. It’s also the date when the WTO, one of the joint organizers of the Geneva part of the event, has issued a package of new data, including the 2010 edition of its annual International Trade Statistics, updates of the World Tariff Profiles, Trade Profiles, and new pages allowing users to map trade data.


International Trade Statistics 2010, is a comprehensive overview of world trade up to 2009. An annual publication, it is available first in electronic format with a print version to follow in November, and includes the details of merchandise trade by product and trade in commercial services by category. Each chapter is introduced by a highlights section that identifies the most salient trends in the data and illustrates them with numerous charts and maps.

It includes a methodological chapter (Chapter IV Metadata), which explains essential concepts and definitions used in compiling the statistics, and an appendix with detailed trade data up to 2009.

All data used in the publication, as well as additional charts not included in the book, can be downloaded from the WTO web site’s statistics page, www.wto.org/statistics. With these additions, International Trade Statistics 2010 serves as an invaluable reference for researchers, policy makers and anyone interested in international trade. Data can be downloaded free in  Excel and pdf formats and from the searchable database.

World Tariff Profiles 2010, a joint publication of the WTO, International Trade Centre (ITC) and UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), provides comprehensive tariff information on all WTO members and other countries. It’s the only compilation of tariff information of its kind available to researchers and negotiators.

World Tariff Profiles outlines the market access the country offers to imports and the market access conditions its products face in its major export markets. The profiles include both maximum tariff rates that are legally “bound” in the WTO and the rates countries actually apply. Where tariffs are not expressed as percentages of the price (“ad valorem”) the equivalent percentages are included in the calculation of aggregate statistics.

The electronic copy in pdf format can be downloaded from several links in the WTO website, such as this.

The statistical tables are also available in Excel spreadsheet format. The print publication is now available in English, French and Spanish and can be purchased or ordered from the WTO bookshop.

Trade Profiles 2010 provides the latest information on trade flows and the trade policy measures of WTO members, observers and other selected economies. With information for each country provided in a standardized format, the publication is a quick reference tool for anyone looking for essential trade statistics.

The data provided include basic economic indicators (such as gross domestic product or GDP), trade policy indicators (such as tariffs, import duties, the number of disputes, notifications outstanding and contingency measures in force), merchandise trade flows (broken down by broad product categories and major origins and destinations), services trade flows (with a breakdown by major components) and industrial property indicators. With one page devoted to each country, Trade Profiles offers a concise overview of global trade.

Printed versions of the International Trade Statistics and the trade profiles will be available in November in English, French and Spanish and can be ordered from the WTO bookshop. Pdf versions of the entire reports will also be posted on the WTO web site.

New or updated on the WTO Statistics webpage are the:

A summary of all WTO statistical tools and databases are available here.

Putting data on maps. New pages linked via a WTO maps gateway allow website users to create their own world maps displaying the data of their choice. Options include:

  • Trade per capita

  • Trade to GDP ratio

  • Tariff binding coverage

  • MFN tariffs, simple average, final bound

  • MFN tariffs, simple average, applied

  • MFN tariffs, trade weighted average, applied

  • Services sectors with GATS commitments

  • Outstanding notifications in WTO Central Registry

  • Merchandise exports

  • Merchandise imports

  • Commercial services exports

  • Commercial services imports

In most cases the data are displayed as a “heat map”, in which higher values are represented by deeper or more intense colours. Clicking on a country or territory on the map gives more data. In cases where data are directional (such as imports and exports), arrows indicate trade flows on the map.

Other new maps include membership of the WTO and of its plurilateral agreements, membership of negotiating groups in the Doha negotiations, and membership of regional trade agreements.

Jargon buster

Metadata: explanatory notes and other technical details for statistical tables (literally, a set of data that describes and gives information about other data).

ad valorem (AV): a tariff rate charged as percentage of the price

applied rates: duties that are actually charged on imports. These can be below the bound rates

bound rates (tariff binding): commitment not to increase a rate of duty beyond an agreed level. Once a rate of duty is bound, it may not be raised without compensating the affected parties

MFN (most-favoured-nation) tariff: normal non-discriminatory tariff charged on imports (excludes preferential tariffs under free trade agreements and other schemes or tariffs charged inside quotas)

> More jargon: glossary


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