World Trade Statistical Review 2016
World Trade Organization’s Flagship Statistical Publication
World Trade Statistical Review 2016
World Trade Statistical Review 2016 is the World Trade Organization’s new flagship statistical publication. Like its predecessor, International Trade Statistics, the aim of the publication is to show the latest trends in world trade and to improve understanding of global trade patterns.
This publication has existed in many guises since it was first produced as International Trade in 1952. Over the years, it has evolved in many ways, just as world trade has evolved. For example, in 2014 the World Trade Statistical Review included for the first time data on global value chains, a key measure for understanding the impact of global trade. This new edition sees a transformation of the publication from a “statistical compendium” to a publication that analyses these statistics within a global economic context, using statistical data to explain how and why global trade is changing.
The new structure of the World Trade Statistical Review allows for more comprehensive information about trade and trade policy developments to be provided, and in a more timely way. This new publication will be released online in July each year, bringing it closer to the reporting period. A print version will be published in early September. Inevitably, this means that the publication will rely more on estimates of trade over the previous year rather than final data but by publishing the information earlier, it will allow us to highlight and analyze the latest trends more quickly. This is of obvious benefit to policymakers, trade analysts and all those involved in world trade.
A further update of the statistical data will be made online in October once final data are available, in line with previous years.
This new World Trade Statistical Review continues to provide comprehensive data on trade in goods and services but now has a broader coverage of world trade developments, including a particular focus on trade policy, an analysis of the participation of developing economies in world trade and a more detailed look at selected goods and services. All of this is accompanied by a detailed explanation of how the information is sourced and the methodology used in compiling the data. In parallel to the revamping of our flagship statistical publication, we are also making improvements to our other annual statistical publications. Rather than having separate “profiles” for merchandise trade and trade in commercial services, these will be combined into one publication, with two pages of key data devoted to each economy.
The new version of “Trade Profiles” will be published alongside “Tariff Profiles”, which will continue to provide information on tariffs and non-tariff measures applied by over 170 economies around the world. This publication will continue to be prepared in cooperation with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Trade Centre (ITC). Both these publications will continue to be published in October each year. Other profiles, on the Aid for Trade initiative and on trade in value added, will only be made available online.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has worked on this report. The gathering of these statistics and the analysis of the data would not be possible without the cooperation of our WTO members’ missions, other international organizations and national statistical authorities. Within the WTO, a number of divisions across the Secretariat have come together to help create this publication. I thank all of them for their invaluable contribution to this report.
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