WTO: 2015 NEWS ITEMS

INTERNATIONAL TRADE STATISTICS


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> Trade Data Day

  

“Trade and development policies at national level require good statistics; similarly, the WTO cannot fulfil its negotiation and transparency mandates without good data,” DDG Yi said in his welcoming remarks to the seminar. “Indeed, the increased complexity of trade and the resulting greater interconnection of domestic firms within a globalised economy have fuelled demand for more information on trade statistics and trade policy measures.”

Trade Data Day is a collaborative effort of the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Bank and the WTO. This year's seminar examined the main advances in trade and market access statistics and looked ahead to future challenges.

Two issues were of specific focus at the seminar: the monitoring and analysis of non-tariff trade policy measures; and trade and market access information systems on commercial services.

Speakers noted the increasing share of global GDP accounted for by trade — 50 per cent in 2013 compared to 39 per cent in 2000 — which means that more areas of economic activity are affected by trade. Trade has become complex and fragmented with the rise of global value chains, resulting in a growing emphasis on measuring and analysing trade in value added.

Measuring trade in services is particularly difficult, given the different modes of supply for services, the speakers added. Border policies have also become increasingly intertwined with domestic policy through non-tariff measures, making trade policy overall more complex.

Emphasis was put on the need to improve the details and quality of trade statistics and to further work in new areas such as Trade in Value Added (TiVA) as well as Trade by Enterprise Characteristics (TEC). The former considers the value added by each country in the production of goods and services that are consumed worldwide, while the latter links trade statistics to the business register at the micro-level.

Further information on Trade Data Day is available here.

 

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