Regional Cooperation: Trade and Statistics

Sep 30, 2016

International Trade Statistics Seminar / UNDP Turkmenistan

UNDP supports national statistics committees of Central Asia

Ashgabat, 26-29 September 2016: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) promotes access to high quality reliable data. Together with the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and the State Statistics Committee of Turkmenistan, UNDP held a four-day regional training on international trade statistics for representatives of the statistics committees of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, China, India and Iran.

International trade, including foreign direct investment is widely recognized as a central force of the economic growth around the world. The goal of the training is to build up understanding of the UN recommendations in the area of trade statistics, exchange national experiences on data collection and dissemination and ensure close regional coordination of the data suppliers.

“It is a great honor for Turkmenistan to host regional training on international trade statistics. This seminar will contribute to ensuring regional and international trade in Eurasia. It is very important that today we have representatives of the region’s growing and strongest economies – China, India and Iran. At the same time, Central Asian countries have similar economic platforms and mutual understanding is vital for successful cooperation,” said Chair of the State Statistics Committee of Turkmenistan, Ayna Orayeva.

Training participants were exposed to the new UN recommendations in the area of economic and trade statistics, discussed drawbacks in the current data collection methods, and the importance of mirroring and comparison of the statistics to ensure that the data collected is timely, accurate, and reliable.

Representatives of the UNSD demonstrated the existing tools for data analysis and introduced new international trade statistics standards developed by the UN Statistics Committee. The tools allow analysis and provide regional and global and cross country overviews of the flow of goods, services, capital, etc.

“Just last week, Turkmenistan has adopted Sustainable Development Goals, targets and indicators. Earlier this year, the Government and the United Nations have signed a five-year Partnership Framework for Development document, where quality of data is a central areas of cooperation. Trade is an enabling factor of economic development in the countries and a powerful tool to create jobs, improve living conditions and overall economic performance. The improvement of trade statistics will help decision makers prepare and implement the right policies and legislation. The UNDP country office is committed to work with the State Statistics Committee, State Customs Committee, the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations, and the Institute of Trade to implement the new trade policy agenda of Turkmenistan.,” stated Vitalie Vremis, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.

Although, international trade is not a goal per se, it is an enabler for achieving a broad range of Sustainable Development Goals through inclusive and sustainable economic growth. When properly harnessed, the opportunities brought by international trade can be a powerful force for creating jobs, enabling efficient use of resources, providing incentives to entrepreneurs and ultimately improving standards of living in all countries, as stated in the in video message of the Director of the UN Statistics Division, Stefan Schweinfest. That is, Goal 17 includes the targets that focus on identifying the types of national and international policies that would harness the enabling power of trade given its impacts on development and, in this context, design a framework which will enhance coherence among such policies.

By the end of the training, participants adopted recommendations that ensure commitment to adhere to the international standards, develop regular national reporting systems, ensure cooperation among customs, statistics, central banks, and other line ministries, provide research into the bilateral trade asymmetries, and information cross border trade, recognize importance to provide details on investment. 

Contact information

Nurjemal Jalilova
UNDP Research and Innovation Specialist

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