Volume 18, No.11 - November 2014

Capacity development

Producing international trade statistics

International trade, including foreign direct investment, is widely recognized as a driver of economic growth connecting businesses from many economies around the world.  Focusing on the topic of international trade statistics, a regional seminar will be held in New Delhi, India, on 3-6 November.

If we talk about trade, the discussion is no longer just a discussion about how we exchange transactions on a bilateral basis, but is more and more a discussion about how our economy fits with other economies into global value chains. The discussion is no longer just about who our direct partners are in the value chain, but also about those partners, who are at the beginning and at the end of the global value chains, and who may exercise a certain control over its processes.

The objective of the seminar is to improve the understanding of the recommendations for trade statistics and to share experiences on how to improve the implementation in national statistical systems with better coordination and cooperation among data providers and compilers.

The ultimate goal is to produce the highest quality of international trade statistics, which are relevant for the policy makers at home and which are also comparable at the regional and international levels. The seminar strives to achieve this by (i) clarification and elaboration of a number of more difficult conceptual issues and (ii) identification of good practices in the implementation of the international recommendations.

The seminar is intended for official statisticians from national statistical offices, central banks and ministries. One of the goals of seminar is to bring these communities of statisticians closer together both nationally and internationally. Within the framework of Integrated Economic Statistics, it is necessary for national stakeholders to establish good communication channels to collaborate in finding solutions for measurement problems and streamline the production of statistics.

At the practical side, the central bank and the statistical office need to work together to produce high-quality trade and balance of payment statistics for evidence-based policy making.

This meeting will be organized by UN DESA’s Statistics Division, the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS), Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Central Statistical Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India in cooperation with EU-ASEAN COMPASS project.

For more information:

Calendar of Events of UN DESA’s Statistics Division


Promoting the implementation of the CRPD in Africa

The development account project “Building capacities of Governments to mainstream disability in Africa to promote implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” is moving towards the end in December. Several final activities are scheduled to take place in November in the pilot countries.

The main activity of the project is the production of a Toolkit on Disabilities in Africa to be used to train policy makers, local administrators and operators to enhance the implementation of the CRPD in Africa, in collaboration with four African countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Zambia – and with OHCHR, ECA and African Union.

After completion and validation of the Toolkit  during a workshop held in Addis Ababa on 5-7 August 2014, the final activities planned by the project are national training-of-trainers workshops to be held in the pilot countries on 11 – 14 and 18 – 21 November, 2014. Duty of the participants to the t-o-t workshop will be  the dissemination of disability issues at national and local level, to government officials, DPOs and civil society in general using the Toolkit on Disabilities in Africa.

For more information:

United Nations Enable

UN DESA’s Social Policy and Development Division


Building capacity to use trade-related international support measures

Building institutional capacity in the use of trade-related International Support Measures (ISMs) in LDCs will be in focus for capacity building workshops to review project outcomes and design implementation strategies to be held in Geneva on 17 – 24 November.

As the organization mandated to assist the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) in the identification of LDCs, UN DESA advises LDC governments on issues related to LDC-specific international support measures (ISMs). Over the recent years, the department has built up a broad knowledge base on support measures and has become one of the lead entities working on the identification and analysis of these measures.

Past capacity development activities have led to the establishment of a dedicated online presence cataloguing all LDC-specific ISMs. More recently, UN DESA’s work has focused on the institutional constraints experienced by four pilot countries (the Gambia, Lesotho, Nepal and Uganda) in accessing trade-related support measures. These measures are difficult to access due to their complexity and being dispersed across a range of development and trading partners. A number of workshop meetings in Geneva are organised to discuss the findings of recent project activities and to plan for implementation.

Survey results in the pilot countries demonstrate that countries often need to improve inter-ministerial coordination as well as linkages with the private sector, in particular with respect to accessing support on issues related to Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary (SPS) requirements.

A key problem for accessing support on SPS and TBT requirements starts with the lack of reliable and accurate information. The activities during the workshop will discuss how the establishment of electronic tools can assist private sector stakeholders in the pilot countries to access information on new and changing export requirements related to SPS and TBT measures introduced by trading partners.

In addition, the meetings will also focus on the implementation of other capacity development priorities identified under the project and on discussing the detailed project implementation plans for Lesotho and Nepal which only recently started with the implementation of project activities. Furthermore, on Tuesday 18 November the interim project results will be presented to the LDC Group at the WTO Secretariat.

The workshops will count on the participation from the public and private sectors of LDCs and the expertise from international organisations such as the ACP-EU TBT Programme, the Enhanced Integrated Framework Secretariat, ITC, the Standards and Trade Development Facility, UNDP and bilateral partners.

For more information:

Committee for Development Policy (CDP)

Support Measures Portal for LDCs